The Budapest appeals court Fővárosi Itélőtábla confirmed the sentences the two main defendants received in a case involving failed independent brokerage Buda-Cash and reduced the sentences of the three other defendants in a binding ruling on Thursday, state news wire MTI reports.
In October 2018 the Municipal Court of Budapest ruled that the five Hungarians were guilty of embezzlement and sentenced each to seven years and six months in prison, minus time already served.
The appeals court maintained the sentences for the first two defendants but reduced those for the other three defendants to six, five, and four years, respectively. It argued that they cannot receive a similar sentence.
The current ruling also annulled the confiscation orders issued by the first-instance court arguing that such steps would make civil liability claims against the defendants impossible.
Buda-Cash went under liquidation in 2015, after it came under investigation for suspected criminal activity. Authorities made arrests after uncovering fraudulent activity at the brokerage going back more than a decade. The National Bank of Hungary estimated investors may have lost as much as HUF 100 billion as a result.