Austrian officials have charged two Bwin.Party executives with bribery in relation to the company’s failed 2007 bid to obtain a Turkish sports betting license.

Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner were both charged with money laundering, breach of trust and corruption. The charges were laid against Teufelberger and Bodner were presented back on January 12, but only came to light after reporting by the Austrian language news site, Trend.at.

At issue is whether or not a lobbyist, one Ali Ocak, hired by the company to help procure a Turkish sports betting license, accepted more than 2 million Euros to bribe government officials to make that happen.

It seems as though no one is disputing the fact that more than 2 million Euro were transferred to a Lichtenstein-based company called, Cort International Establishment from Bwin.

Now what that money was used for is definitely in question.

For their part, Bwin.Party officials say that the money was merely a consulting fee for services rendered in relation to the Turkish license.

The Austrians, who got involved when Bwin.Party officials suggested that Cort International hadn’t used the money for its intended purposes (whatever that might have been).  They were especially disappointed to find out that their Turkish license was a flat-out fake.

When Austrian prosecutors caught wind of the story, they focused more on their suspicions that Bwin.Party was involved in bribery, rather than the fake license aspect of the story.

For their part, Bwin.Party’s lawyers are saying that the charges are completely without merit and that they expect Teufelberger and Bodner to be completely exonerated.


Tags: ,

Related posts: