Authorities to investigate money laundering at public media fund

The Hungarian tax office NAV will start an investigation into the Hungarian public media fund’s (MTVA) suspiciously pricey contracts with production companies. So far the charges are embezzlement and money laundering in the amount of EUR 1,7 million. Since 2010 extensive media coverage drew attention to the overcharging practices in state television production. It was revealed that the contracted companies did not actually engage in the production activities they were contracted for, rather they hired subcontractors who did the actual production work for half the amount of money or sometimes even less.

A notable example was Apokalipszis, a company that got paid twice for the production of three cartoons, according to news site Hír24. Atlatszo.hu reported earlier that Apokalipszis was an offshore company registered in Washington, US with an office in the Seychelles. The company was 9th on the Hungarian tax authority’s list of the largest tax debtors.

This text was originally posted on 02 April 2014. Editing by Orsolya Gulyás.