Prosecutor files charges of attempted fraud against former PM aide

An Athens prosecutor on Monday filed charges of attempted fraud against the State against Stavros Papastavrou, a lawyer who served as adviser to former prime minister Antonis Samaras and Greek-Israeli businessman Sabby Mionis, his client, for direct complicity in the fraud attempt.

The case is part of an investigation into the so-called Lagarde list of some 2,000 alleged tax evaders with deposits at a Swiss branch of HSBC. Greek authorities linked the two men to deposits of about 5.4 million euros, found in an account of a company called STABRI Limited, based in the Virgin Islands and included in the list.

Papastavrou paid a 3.3-million-euro fine in 2016 to avoid a criminal investigation into the deposit in question and possible charges of tax avoidance and money laundering, but has argued that the account’s beneficiary was Mionis.

According to the authorities, the company in question, which they claim shows Papastavrou and his parents as beneficiaries, operated for the purpose of tax avoidance and specifically to hide 460,000 euros in 2007.