Powerful businessman Andreas Vnenopoulos died of heart arrest at 3:30 am on Saturday. He was 63 years old.
He was the chairman of Marfin Investment Group and Marfin Popular Bank, Health group Ygeia (Hospital), major shareholder of Panathinaikos FC, owner of Oympic Air and a fencer.
He was a lawyer who turned into a tycoon, and from there to a controversial businessman being accused of bringing Cyprus into bankruptcy due to operations of his Marfin Bank.
“Vgenopoulos has become a symbol of Greece’s travails and the extraordinary pain the country’s business community is suffering. He has put Olympic on the block, his private-equity fund is in the red and buried in debt, and he stands accused of bringing Cyprus to the brink of bankruptcy.” (WSJ in 2013)
Vgenopoulos was calling the Cyprus allegations “ridiculous”.
Beginning of October, the Greek corruption prosecutor raised felony charges against Vgenopoulos and 14 executives of Marfin Bank for a loan given in 2006: the original loan of €75million and had reached €200 million via refinancing.
The controversial loan was allegedly given to the investment fund of a shipowner was without collateral and it was used so that the fund purchases shares of the groups MIG and MRB that owned the bank.
Andreas Vgenopoulos had refused the charges.
Will now investigations be halted? Not in Cyprus. The prosecutor in Cyprus told Cyprus News Agency that he respects Vgenopoulos’ death however investigation and the progress of the open cases will continue.