Tumas Group has sought to distance itself from a money-laundering case against its former CEO Yorgen Fenech.

In a statement signed by Fenech’s uncle Ray, Tumas Group said it wishes to dissociate itself from the wrongdoing alleged in the money-laundering case, and repeat previous statements expressing its “disappointment with and dissociation” from other allegations against Fenech. 

A text from Fenech asking "how much did we launder?" was among a raft of WhatsApp messages submitted as evidence against him in the case.

Fenech is accused of fraud and attempting to launder a total of €45,000 in a case involving four other alleged associates via a company associated with Tumas Group. 

The latest charges come on top of his prosecution for alleged complicity in journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, as well as allegedly ordering an array of weapons online in November 2018.

Bonus account was frozen

Tumas Group said the alleged money laundering case makes reference to the operations of an associated company, Glimmer Limited, in relation to a bonus account of €26,000.

This bonus award was picked up by the company’s compliance systems, and the account immediately frozen, Tumas Group said.

A subsequent internal audit was also carried out.

The online gaming operations of Glimmer Ltd were discontinued and its gaming license voluntarily surrendered in October 2019, the statement said.

Tumas Group said it has no knowledge of alleged transfers of cash between the individuals charged by the police.

MGA called in

The group said that while it maintains the alleged manipulation of jackpots within its casinos “would not be possible”, it is nevertheless taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.

“Apart from the investigations on the matter that will be conducted by management, the group yesterday contacted the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), with a view to conducting independent enquiries to evaluate the controls enforced within the casinos in this area.”

Times of Malta has previously exposed how former MGA officials Joe Cuschieri and Edwina Licari secretly helped Fenech write a letter lobbying the authority to renew one of the Tumas casino licenses.

Although Cuschieri has since resigned from his post as CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority over a Las Vegas trip he took with Fenech, no known action was taken by the financial regulator against Licari, who holds the title of general counsel.

Tumas Group said in its statement that “court allegations” against two of its former employees, Anthony Farrugia and Patrick Demanuele, go against their obligations to the company.

The group said Farrugia’s employment with the group ceased in March 2020, while Demanuele’s resignation was accepted in light of the recent court case.

Times of Malta recently revealed how Fenech had sought Demanuele’s help in gaining access to cash to top up what he referred to as a “slush fund”.

Farrugia has, in turn, been implicated in supplying cryptocurrency suspected to have been used by Fenech to carry out illicit purchases online. 

He has, however, not faced any charges in relation to supplying the Bitcoins to Fenech. 

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