hidden wealth

Asset declaration procedure initiated against former Fidesz deputy mayor of Érd

An asset declaration procedure has been initiated in the city of Érd because former deputy mayor, István Bács, from the governing Fidesz party did not disclose in his asset declaration the HUF 70 million loan he had granted to his own company. Atlatszo has therefore re-examined his asset declarations, and it has now been revealed that the deputy mayor, who was previously responsible for sports affairs, did not include the millions paid to him by Érdi Sport Ltd. as a rent for an apartment in his 2019 asset declaration. Previously, the local government leader had concealed the fact that he had received taypayers’ money from a company 100% owned by the municipality.

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According to a police document recently obtained by Atlatszo, the former deputy mayor of Érd, István Bács and the then managing director of Érdi Sport Ltd. terminated the lease of the 76-square-metre apartment at 3 Budai Street, a day after the municipal elections in Érd, which ended up as a failure for Fidesz as the opposition candidate won. Bács’ term of office as deputy mayor also ended on the same day.

Earlier, in September 2019, we contacted Bács to ask him about the apartment rented from him by Érdi Sport Ltd, but he did not respond.

Atlatszo first wrote about the apartment rental item in Bács’s asset declaration before the municipal elections. But it was only at the beginning of 2020 when we obtained the evidence that the deputy mayor of Bács, who was responsible for sports, received HUF 250,000 a month by the municipality-owned Érdi Sport Ltd. At the same time, we wrote that the company rented nine apartments from Parimmo Ltd, a company with offshore roots, partly owned by Bács’ brother, in the same house where István Bács’ apartment was located many years ago.

In August 2018, Érdi Sport Ltd. and Parimmo Ltd. modified the lease contract. The rent for the apartments was doubled, so the municipality’s company, which was suffering heavy losses, paid HUF 1 350 000 + VAT per month to the company of Bács’ brother.

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Not only the member loan was missing

The content of police document was confirmed by the current manager of Érdi Sport Ltd. Andrea Fenyőházi-Nagy, who stated that  “Érdi Sport Ltd. has paid 2 162 500 HUF rent to Dr. István Bács (10 months) in 2019 according to the terms of the lease contract. The rent included the fees for extra services (overheads). The contract was cancelled on 14.10.2019, with effect from 30.10.2019.”

However, in István Bács’ asset declarations for 2019 this amount of money is not included.

Bács’s income declarations are available here, here, here and here. In the first document, he included the HUF 250,000 rent in section B), point 2, but left box b), which asks for the payer, blank, even though renting an apartment is not subject to obligation of confidentiality.

So, for some reason, he did not share the information in his declaration of assets that as one of the leaders of the municipality, he received money from a company 100% owned by the municipality.

The wife’s declaration of assets may also be of interest

This is not the first time that the politician from Érd, who is known for his derogatory statements, has had problems with his asset declarations. Most recently, he failed to include a HUF 71 million member loan to his own company in his asset declaration. When we asked him about it, he referred to our journalist as a “filthy communist”.

Later, he came up with a rather vague argument  in Facebook that his wife’s – non-public – asset declaration made it clear where the HUF 71 million member loan came from.

According to our information, one of the leaders of the Municipality of Érd has initiated an asset declaration procedure in relation to the HUF 71 million member loan. Deputy mayor Örs Tetlák – a candidate for the LMP in the opposition pre-election – confirmed this information.

Tetlák stated that “I am not interested in any way in the financial situation of Bács’s wife, nor in her financial statement. However, I insist that the committee should make sure that Bács was telling the truth when he claimed that the source of his HUF 70 million member loan to his own company was revealed in his and his wife’s asset declarations.”

Anyone can initiate the procedure concerning the declaration of assets at the committee  – in Érd that is the legal committee, which will inform the body of representatives of the outcome of the procedure at its next meeting. According to the provisions of the Local Government Act, upon the request of the committee examining the declaration of assets and liabilities, the member of the local government is obliged to immediately submit in writing the identification data concerning his/her own assets and liabilities and of his/her relatives.

The committee may hear the member in order to verify the accuracy of the information contained in the declaration of assets. Bács is himself is also a member of the legal committee responsible for declarations of assets in Érd.

Translated by Zita Szopkó. The original, Hungarian version of this article was written by Zoltán Kis and can be found here

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