Investors in the Nieuwe Hollandsche Wind and Noordenwind funds thought they were investing in wind farms and real estate projects, but nothing could be further from the truth. Today, seven people behind the funds have been convicted of fraud, scams and money laundering, resulting in years of imprisonment.

According to the Amsterdam court, the suspects had no intention of spending the money in the agreed manner. They acted purely for their own sake, "with dollar signs in their eyes", without even taking into account their victims.

Almost three hundred investors have been scammed by the funds. They were enticed with guaranteed and high returns of up to 9.2 percent. The majority of the 8.7 million euros in investment was put in the pocket by the scammers, almost immediately after the money had arrived.

Houses and cars

The Noordenwind fund would invest in Dutch real estate projects, but that money was used to buy properties in Portugal and the Philippines, among others. An Audi and Volkswagen were also purchased.

Hollandsche Wind, the other fund, would invest in Dutch wind farms, but in the end none of that money was invested. The name Hollandsche Wind was chosen because Eneco sold bonds under the name Hollandse Wind. There was not even a plan to spend the money. Nevertheless, the glossy brochure stated: "Safe, green and sustainable investing with a fixed return of 7.1 percent".

That the suspects knew exactly what they are doing, is clear from their WhatsApp conversations. For example, there was talk of bringing in money to which a convicted person responded: "People exploit the tastiest thing there is." The other agreed with "Let's do it".

A claim for damages was rejected by the court, so the victims must now try to get their money back through the civil court.

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