Jaromir Ruda, the man who tarnished Slovakia’s image through fraud as the 17th Winter Deaflympic Games 2011 had to be cancelled just one week before they were due to take place, will be up in court on Wednesday this week to stand trial.
Ruda will be facing charges of embezzling almost EUR 1.7 million along with his partner in crime, notary Stanislav F. They allegedly tricked sponsors into giving them money that was supposed to be used for the Deaflympic Games 2011 in the High Tatras.
The notary Stanislav F had been entrusted with safekeeping the money back in April 2008, but following agreement with Ruda they transferred the money to various accounts before withdrawing it in cash, leaving the Deaflympics with no funding and the various contractors and event partners out of pocket .
The notary Stanislav F is claiming innocence as he was only acting on the instructions of Ruda, but his license has already been suspended and if proven guilty, it will be the biggest notary fraud in Slovakia’s history, meaning Ruda and his partner could end up behind bars for 10-15 years.
The charges against Jaromir Ruda are much higher, though, as he is accused of having collected EUR 10 million from at least four different companies through co-operation agreements surrounding the games, and so the Anti-Corruption Office is charging him with fraud in the range of EUR 11 million.
Ruda also managed to extract over EUR 1 million from the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) using false documentation, by getting its members to send money for accommodation and other services directly to the Slovak Deaflympics Committee instead of dealing directly with the facilities.
Nobody knows yet what Ruda spent the money on as there are no records available, but he did not use any of it for the intended purpose. It is almost impossible to believe that someone with his reputation could so easily hoodwink so many people, especially considering the fact that he has been facing the embezzlement charges since 2008, but managed to avoid punishment simply by not showing up in court several times.
Ruda was caught in February trying to cross the border into Hungary.
Read more on the background of the case here.