Kokkalis is also the founder and executive director of telecommunications and security systems company, Intracom Holdings, the parent company of Intralot.
It has been alleged that Kokkalis was a former Stasi (East German secret police) agent. In 1998, the German Bundestag (national government) devoted 26 pages to Kokkalis, his firms and associates in a 462-page report on Stasi involvement in commercial and other activities.
A 2010 study on the links between organised crime and corruption by the European Commission's Centre for Democratic Studies, devotes a section to him.
The study alleged that when Kokkalis' was a Stasi agent, he accumulated significant information about the general situation in Greece, its politicians, the Greek secret services, terrorism and Greek defence policy.
In 2010, Intralot lost out on a bid to privately manage the Illinois state lottery, partly because it would not have passed a background check, State Revenue Department officials said. A 23-page report says: "In light of the questionable background of certain key executives of Intralot and its parent corporation, numerous criminal indictments brought against them for alleged money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, misleading investors, and espionage, coupled with Intralot's loss of licences in Bulgaria and South Africa, and its dismal performance record in Australia, Intralot would be hard pressed to establish that it would have passed Illinois' probity standards for serving as private manager."
Despite the allegations and wide-ranging inquiries, Kokkalis has never, as far as we are aware, been convicted.
Computerworld asked if DIA had any concerns about Intralot's parent company and Socrates Kokkalis, given the widespread publicity concerning both?
DIA replied: "The department was aware of allegations surrounding the chairman of Intralot SA, Mr Kokkalis, from the outset and conducted extensive due diligence -- a process independently assessed by Audit New Zealand -- before contracting with Intralot NZ Ltd."
Kokkalis is not a director of Intralot NZ Ltd.
"We have worked successfully with Intralot NZ for more than eight years during which there have been no integrity issues," DIA says.
"We actively monitor all our contractors for a range of reasons.
"Intralot NZ Ltd provides technical services and is not involved in gambling operations in New Zealand. The systems have been developed to ensure the integrity of non-casino pokie gambling and the accurate accounting of money (EMS) and to manage the department's licensing and compliance activities (IGP)."
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