Matthew Pace and Lorraine Falzon, operators of Zenith Finacial Services, have been granted bail following their charges related to a money-laundering and corruption investigation concerning former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
A magistrate issued the decree this morning. Pace was granted bail against a deposit of €40,000 and a personal guarantee of €60,000. Falzon was granted bail against a deposit of €35,000 euro and a personal guarantee of €50,000.
They have been banned from travelling and will be required to sign a bail book every day. They will also be placed under house arrest.
In a sitting yesterday, Pace was a professional money launderer by a court expert appointed by the Keith Schembri-Adrian Hillman magisterial inquiry.
However, the magistrate took into account that all the evidence in the case has been presented to the inquiring magistrate. The court agreed that there was no longer a fear of them tampering with evidence.
Pace is the owner of the financial services firm Zenith, previously MFSP Finance. Falzon is a director and the firm’s money laundering reporting officer.
They have both pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and corruption amongst others.
The inquiry is related to allegations that Keith Schembri channelled over €650,000 to then-Allied Newspapers Managing Director Adrian Hillman in suspicious payments between 2011 and 2015 in a deal which saw his company, Kasco, supply a printing press to Times of Malta in 2018.
Investigations found that Schembri, former Allied Newspapers managing partners Adrian Hillman and Vince Buhagiar, Kasco Group CEO Malcolm Scerri had all opened accounts at MFSP at roughly the same time, between 2010 and early 2011.
Inspector Camilleri has described how €650,000 had been deposited in client accounts held by MFSP in order to be reinvested. The funds were transferred to another account held by Schembri and then passed to other accounts.
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