In the appeal, the defense tried to convince the court that the sole purpose of the Vanek’s actions was to help the victims, who also contacted the convicts themselves (based on an advertisement).
It is said that they had enough time to get acquainted with the contract as well as with the amount of the commission.
“He helped them by inventing a completely nonsensical matter. He presented it to his clients in a completely different way, “said Judge Kateřina Jonáková.
“He offered debt relief, used terms that mean something different from what he probably imagined. And in doing so, he misled the victims, ”added Jonáková, adding that Vanek’s mother was essentially a white horse in the case.
In the appeal, the defense and, unusually, the public prosecutor in the appeal proposed to reduce the sentences imposed, which they found unreasonably severe. The court eventually annulled them and re-assessed them in the first third of the sentence, which in this case is two to eight years.
In reducing the sentences, the Board of Appeal took into account the time that has elapsed since the crime was committed, as well as last year’s amendment to the Criminal Code, which increased the limits of damages for prosecution.
Between 2009 and 2014, Vaňek was offered loan consolidation and financial advice, either in the form of advertising in the Blesk and Aha dailies or by sending leaflets.
Based on their receivables, they then sent clients mandate agreements, cooperation agreements or power of attorney to be signed. They allegedly wanted to help clients unify receivables in one installment.
“I wanted to get people to repay smaller amounts, regularly, to all creditors,” Vaněk, who came up with the idea, told the regional court last year.
Vanek’s idea was that for a smaller monthly commission (about 600 to 700 crowns) he would solve their monthly payments for the debtors.
The client thus sent Vaňek a certain amount, from which the defendants deducted a commission and distributed the rest among the client’s creditors. “It was better to pay at least a hundred crowns than not to send anything at all,” Vanek explained.
Vanek’s creditors were sent powers of attorney from clients. However, they did not subsequently tell the clients that they were not acting on their case or that the creditors did not accept the power of attorney.
According to the file, they kept most of the money received from clients. There were a total of 469 cases with a total damage of 3,406,828 crowns.