Another day, another Fidesz corruption scandal — Lajos Kósa and the mysterious 4.35 billion euros

Lajos Simicska, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s former college roommate and best-friend-turned-worst-enemy, has decided to air the ruling party’s dirty laundry in the weeks ahead of the national elections in April. The Magyar Nemzet conservative daily newspaper produced what it says is a notarized document showing that someone (the name on the document is covered) entrusted Fidesz MP and Minister Lajos Kósa with 4.35 billion euros, for the purpose of investing this amount in Hungarian state bonds. The document dates back to 2013, when Mr. Kósa was Fidesz Vice President and Mayor of Debrecen.

On Tuesday morning, journalists of ATV and HVG asked the Fidesz politician who would have entrusted him with such a staggering amount of money and why? Mr. Kósa’s answer was eyebrow-raising. The Fidesz politician claimed that a friend of his introduced him to a German woman who inherited a large amount of money and was looking for someone to help her invest it.

Mr. Kósa told reporters that he never actually received the 4.35 billion euros and he never bought state bonds for this amount. The journalists continued to press Mr. Kósa: was he present in the notary’s office when the ominous agreement was signed? Mr. Kósa said that he does not really know what the reporters are talking in terms of this specific document, but then added: yes, he had previously been to the offices of Ádám Tóth, the notary in question.

There is a significant problem with Mr. Kósa’s explanation: according to HVG, in 2012 only 21 people in Germany had assets that equaled or exceeded 4.35 billion and not a single one of them died prior to the signing of this contract.

Lajos Kósa

Fidesz must know that this story is a serious problem for the party. In addition to his explanation given to ATV and HVG reporters, Mr. Kósa also posted a video to Facebook, in an attempt to explain further–though his story changed completely. In this video, he claims that a lawyer and a woman from the town of Csenger (population 4,900) in eastern Hungary contacted him and said that they had significant assets to invest. Mr. Kósa suggested that she invest the funds in Hungarian state bonds and in work projects. Mr. Kósa claims that the contract was re-written several times, but after nothing happened by 2017, and no money was produced, he realized that he may have been duped.

Mr. Kósa then said something ominous: he would not be surprised if other problematic documents came to light in the coming weeks, considering that Hungary is in the middle of an election campaign. Mr. Kósa appears to predict that this story may have legs.

20 Comments

  1. Andras B. Gollner says:

    “Lajos Simicska, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s former college roommate and best-friend-turned-worst-enemy, has decided to air the ruling party’s dirty laundry in the weeks ahead of the national elections in April.”

    It was about time. What was he waiting for ? Rex Tillerson’s resignation ?

  2. Just what does the author mean as stated; “help her to invest it” ?

    Did the lady ask advise on investing 4.35 billion Euroes?
    Or did this person take her money, likely not cash ?
    A billionair had not employed a licensed professional financial advisor, but a “hungarian somebody”.
    And in case some one invested all that money (4.35 billion Euro) in Hungarian government bonds, the Hungarian Treasury would have no record of it ?
    And just what is the reference suppose to mean that none of the 21 German billionairs have died?
    Something is missing in the story !

    In Europe nobody would think; “never put all your eggs in one basket?!

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      The reason it does not make sense is because Lajos Kósa is either telling a fib or is grossly naive and incompetent. As Index noted, if he was mislead by the woman in Szabolcs county claiming to have 4.35 billion euros, he would have also fallen for one of those emails from a Nigerian prince…

      As for your questions, I recommend you address them directly to Mr. Kósa. Here is his email: lajos.kosa@parlament.hu . Let us know when he responds.

  3. 4.35 billion Euros? This should be a transaction that can easily be tracked if anything actually happened. And if something did happen, it should be investigated in terms of what if any illegal activity such a transaction may have produced. But I doubt that anything really did happen here, because common sense dictates that EU watchdogs would have sniffed out any wrongdoing involving such a huge sum of money. I don’t think that it is the kind of thing that only Mr. Simicka could get to the bottom of, while flying under the radar of all authorities & financial institutions. For instance, bond markets would have surely noticed a buyer of such magnitude, if government securities would have been the target of such a large sum of money. Hate to be rude, but this story is tailored for those who absolutely need to believe for their own psychological well-being, or for those with an IQ that has to be well bellow average, therefore can easily be confused and misled.

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      Would you mind explaining to us why Mr. Kósa could not get his story straight? So are we talking about a German billionaire, like he claimed in the morning, or a billionare from a village in Szabolcs county, like he claimed in the afternoon? If it’s all nonsense and can be resolved so easily, surely Mr. Kósa could get these details straight.

      By the way, every publication in Hungary, except for the Fidesz media, is reporting on this as the main cover story today:

      http://hvg.hu/kkv/20180313_kosa_lajos_allitolagos_1300_milliardos_megbizasa

      https://index.hu/gazdasag/2018/03/13/kosa_kozjegyzo_kerdesek/

      https://444.hu/2018/03/13/kosa-lajos-azt-mondja-becsapta-ot-egy-csengeren-elo-haztartasbeli-aki-azt-mondta-hogy-1300-milliard-forintot-orokolt

      • I can think of several reasons! It may be that he is attempting to cover for being an idiot. But being corrupt & an idiot are two different things. I should also mention that there are plenty of examples in human history of people who are otherwise competent in many ways being duped, in many cases by seemingly outrageous schemes, or pranks. Simicska and seemingly you are attempting to allege corruption, which in this case, it is laughable!

        • Have you ever heard of the still unsolved broker scandal of Buda-Cash Brókerház Zrt., Hungária Értékpapír Zrt. and QUAESTOR, dating back to the same period as the current affair?

          You are truly clueless when it comes to Hungary.

        • Péter
          Kósa is an idiot here and corrupt everywhere else, eg. just now his 82 yo mother, former teacher?, started a pig farm with a 123 million ft gov grant, his wife bought a co with assets of 100+ mil for 6 mil !?
          Here’s the Black Book of Fid corruption cases: https://transparency.hu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Fekete-k%C3%B6nyv.pdf
          And I know some more…

        • Well at least you’re willing to come on here and make the argument, but the government-controlled outlets are not even reporting on this issue – do you think is fair reporting?

          https://www.hirado.hu

      • OK! read through some of this. Most plausible scenario in my view is that someone named; “Bunko Paraszt” indeed inherited some money and went to Kosa for help. Some decimals were mixed up in the document and 13 million forints somehow became 1,300 billion forints. So yes, technically the document exists! And it would certainly explain Kosa being confused when confronted with this.

        The alternative is unthinkable, because 1,300 billion forints represents 1/5 of the deficit servicing needs of Hungary for the past five years. There is no institution aside from the largest sovereign funds or large bond investment institutions such a PIMPCO or Franklin Templeton that would be buying Hungarian paper in such volumes, and I don’t think any of them would approach this guy in order to do it. If anyone else would be moving in to do it, the above-mentioned institutions would take notice, because among other things, they watch who buys & sells in order to read market.

        The third option, which is less plausible than the first, but more plausible than the second is that it was a prank.

        In any case, I don’t think corruption would be the verdict either way. I am not aware of laws that prohibit people from helping others manage their money. Perhaps financial advising without a licence at most, but only if he was paid for doing it. But that is not exactly a “mafia state” smoking gun story either. More than anything it shows that he was being patriotic by advising people to buy government paper.

        • Hungarian Free Press says:

          168 Óra is reporting that the billionaire woman’s husband committed suicide two weeks ago, and that Mr. Kósa has known the family for many years and attended a celebration in their home. Which scenario of yours does the suicide, in particular, fall into?

          • It would most likely fall into the first. If suicide is related, it is possible that Kosa turned out to be a bad investment adviser and those poor folks lost some money. Still no corruption dough, just a sad story. At least not based on this! Perhaps if he knowingly channeled this money towards a ponzi, in exchange for money from the ponzi.

  4. Hungarian Free Press says:

    *Important update*

    168 Óra is reporting that Mr. Kósa has known the mysterious billionaire from Csenger for many years and even attended a celebration in their home. Most critically, the mysterious woman’s husband committed suicide two weeks ago.

  5. Guys,
    Péter has a point here – there ain’t such money in Hu.
    The facts up to now indicate such an outlandish absurdity that none of the commentators tonight (Hu time) couldn’t bring themselves to offer a supposition, neither can I, primarily because of the enormity of the amount set out in the papers
    – EUR 4.2 billion = 13 000 bil Ft or
    – 8.7% of the Hu budget.
    – more than the wealth of the 10 richest Huns put together….
    – 60% of the total amount estimated to have been embezzled, misappropriated by the Orban Mafia last 7 years.

    The main point now is that Kósa, the VP of Fid , came out as a complete idiot by getting involved into this affair, his pitiful, shallow lies are just a cherry on the top.
    There must have been more idiots working on this whatever, since one doesn’t start messing around or laundering money
    1. with such an idiotic inheritance story, and absolutely not
    2. with 4.3 bil Euro, not even with one, as such amounts alone would send all the bells everywhere berserk, from banks to tax offices to market supervisors to police and nat sec agencies.

  6. After reading those Hungarian news reports, feel sure this is a phony-story.

    But for what purpose?
    Likely as the guy who threw a rock at Mona Lisa, just to have his name and photo in the papers.
    Who knows?
    Every one wants to be noticed some time for some crazy things. Who can read the mind of a crook?

  7. StrandedinSopron says:

    Observer and Peter have a point here. If you had “significant assets” to invest why on God’s earth would you turn to an imbecile such as Lajos Kosa for advice? It would be all highly comical if it were not the fact that one of the actors has taken their own life. Brings to mind another death, that of Ghaith Pharaon who also was embroiled with the Fidesz money men and also apparently met an untimely demise.

  8. StrandedinSopron says:

    When was Simicska’s fall out with Orban?
    I note that Fidesz’s main online portal Origo.hu has gone into Migrant Devils overdrive with 12 separate articles this morning.

  9. Bende, crazed faithful and trolls,
    1. No point explaining “for what purpose” is corruption exposed and persecuted in civilized states, even if your kind seem to be unaware of these.
    2. The Kòsa case deepens with indications of a very plausible laundering scheme involving 2×25 million dollars, Swiss banks accs, North Atlantic kft, Jànos Czakò, Tamàs Zsabò and Jànos Fiàk.
    Someone is luring him into denials and lies just to drop the next bit.
    Watch Hu Spectrum.

  10. HUNGARIAN FREE PRESS;

    Thanks for Kosa’s e-address.
    See if he will respond .
    Let you all know.

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