The Malta Financial Services has taken action against Zenith just as its directors Matthew Pace and Lorraine Falzon resigned from their positions and were granted bail for money laundering charges today.
Zenith Finance and Zenith TII are barred from taking on new clients and must avoid providing new services to existing clients, according to enforcement measures issued by the MFSA.
The two companies must also cease all outgoing transactions from clients’ accounts were warned not to destroy, conceal or alter any records in any way.
Stephen Paris has been appointed to protect the interests of its clients following the resignation of Pace and Falzon.
Matthew Pace and Lorraine Falzon are granted bail after pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, corruption after an investigation concerning former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Pace was the owner of the financial services firm Zenith, previously MFSP Finance. Falzon was a director and the firm’s money laundering reporting officer.
The inquiry is related to allegations that Keith Schembri channelled over €650,000 to then-Allied Newspapers Managing Director Adrian Hillman in suspicious payments between 2011 and 2015 in a deal which saw his company, Kasco, supply a printing press to Times of Malta in 2018.
Investigations found that Schembri, former Allied Newspapers managing partners Adrian Hillman and Vince Buhagiar, Kasco Group CEO Malcolm Scerri had all opened accounts at MFSP at roughly the same time, between 2010 and early 2011.
Inspector Camilleri has described how €650,000 had been deposited in client accounts held by MFSP in order to be reinvested. The funds were transferred to another account held by Schembri and then passed to other accounts.