The victim's lawyer, Antoon Coucke (photo), explains: "The two clerks were ordered to give the shares back and also received a prison sentence." The procedure to return the shares to the rightful owner was started, but Belgian legislation stipulates that any ruling over 12,500 euros involves the paying of registration fees.
"The question was: who had to pay for this?" explains Mr Coucke. "Belgian legislation says that those who committed the crime have to foot the bill, but there is a "but". If these people don't have any financial means left, then the Belgian state can go back to the other party involved in the case."
In the end, the victim was forced to cough up over 25,000 euros to pay the Belgian taxman. "I think we can conclude that part of our legislation is unfair. That's not new. I think lawmakers should take the initiative to abolish such laws."
What will the victim do next? "We will launch an appeal with the Belgian tax authorities. However, the problem is that nothing illegal has happened. It's the law which is unjust."