Chris Spirou, the former long-time head of the Hellenic American Union in Athens and once a dominant figure in the New Hampshire Democratic Party has been indicted for embezzlement by the Athens District Attorney.
Official documents obtained by The Pappas Post from the Public Prosecutor’s office list Spirou as charged with embezzlement from the Hellenic American Union, an institution he led for almost two decades.
Documents obtained by The Pappas Post that include sworn testimony from the Union’s chief financial officer, as well as certified external audits, reveal that the amount allegedly embezzled from the Union’s coffers over the course of several years by Spirou exceeds €500,000.
The Hellenic American Union was founded in 1957 by a group of prominent Athenian citizens, American diplomats and educators who wanted to deepen the relationship between the peoples of the United States and Greece.
For many decades, the Union served as a beacon of American culture, literature, music, art, as well as the teaching of the English language— and a meeting place for Greeks and Americans alike who saw Greece’s role deeply rooted and connected to the United States.
The Union is also Greece’s official representative for the administering of the University of Michigan’s English language certification and receives millions of euro in fees from students taking the tests.
The criminal charges brought against Spirou come after courts forcibly removed him from the leadership of the institution last year, bringing to an end a tumultuous twenty-year run as President that was marred with controversy and even a break in ties with the United States Embassy in the 1990s.
The court’s decision came following actions undertaken by several voting members of the Union to remove Spirou, including many long-time members and close associates of Spirou, including Nicholas Christodoulopoulos, a once close friend of his.
Spirou was also removed from the board of the Union’s sister-institution, the Hellenic American University, following a unanimous vote by that institution’s board of trustees. The Nashua New Hampshire-based non-profit educational institution has a campus in Athens.
Since the amount of the alleged embezzlement exceeds €120,000, the charges, which include breach of fiduciary duty, are considered a felony according to Greek law.
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