Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish prosecutors filed a new charge of fraud on Wednesday against a man who ran a nationwide financial scheme that allegedly cheated thousands clients for millions of euros (dollars).
The fraud scheme has grown into one of the largest scandals to shake Poland in the 23 years since it abandoned communism and embraced capitalism.
A company that acted like a bank, Amber Gold, offered returns of over 10 percent on what it claimed were investments in gold. Instead of investing the money, it apparently used funds from new clients to pay off older clients. It collapsed this month, unable to repay 182 million zlotys (€56 million).
The exact number of people impacted is unclear but on Wednesday prosecutors said they received complaints from 2,990 people.
Several class-action lawsuits are being prepared against Amber Gold, but it is unclear whether they will be able to regain any of the losses.
Marcin Plichta, who opened Amber Gold in 2009, was charged with six counts of financial wrongdoing earlier this month when the scandal came to light.
A spokesman for prosecutors, Wojciech Szelagowski, said the charge of defrauding investors of large sums of money was added Wednesday after investigators looked closely at the company’s books.
If found guilty, Plichta could face up to 15 years in prison.
The scandal has raised questions about the effectiveness of the government and state structures. Prosecutors admitted earlier this week that they had failed for three years to take action against Amber Gold despite red flags being raised by the country’s financial supervisory body.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk has also come in the spotlight because his son, Michal Tusk, had business dealings with Plichta.
The prime minister is to address parliament on the matter on Thursday.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.