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Fictional companies and falsified books targeted

The Justice Ministry is working on a draft proposal to amend the criminal code that would penalize a still widespread practice of operating fictitious companies as well as audit firms found guilty of concealing or falsifying company figures, Világgazdaság reported yesterday. Offending accountants can face penalties ranging from community service, fines to 3 year imprisonment, while an individual found guilty of filing false company data with the registry court may receive a prison sentence of up to 2 years. Last year altogether 1,430 companies were deleted from the official company registry as non-existent. This compares to 3,748 in 2002 and 2,484 in 2003 and 1,430 in 2004. The amendment proposal is due to come before Parliament next month. (Világgazdaság)