Romania probes $34.2 million fraud at Roman Empire spa

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors say they have detained a businessman and five others on suspicion of defrauding a spa that dates to the Roman empire of 30 million euros ($34.2 million).

Prosecutor Adrian Stamatin said Thursday that Iosif Armas, chairman of a company that manages the Herculaneum Spa, a tourist attraction in southwestern Romania, and other shareholders are suspected of illegally selling assets and taking out loans in the spa's name that could not be repaid. That led to the seizure of the spa's assets.

There was no immediate comment from Armas.

Prosecutors said Armas is suspected of creating a criminal group that orchestrated payments to his company from creditors of SC Hercules SA, which runs the spa.

Six others, including a former spa manager, are also being investigated. The spa is still open.