The fraud of a sports educator from Yvelines, a symbolic case of Covid solidarity fund scams

by time news
The fraud of a sports educator from Yvelines, a symbolic case of Covid solidarity fund scams

There are countless Covid solidarity fund scams. Put in place by the government to help companies overcome the health and economic crisis, this flagship measure of “whatever the cost” is unduly expensive for the State, which is gradually identifying fraudsters. Like this week, with the placement in police custody of an entrepreneur from Croissy-sur-Seine (Yvelines), suspected of having embezzled 19,300 euros through fraudulent claims for compensation, between April 1 and December 31 2020.

Heard Monday by investigators from the Saint-Germain-en-Laye police station, a 51-year-old sports educator admitted the facts. He would have justified his act by explaining that he was then without activity because of the Covid, and therefore that he was in great financial difficulty. A schedule had even been set up with the DGFiP, the Directorate General of Public Finances.

The 50-year-old will appear in court on September 5, in prior admission of guilt.

An explosion of fraud in 2021

This last fact illustrates the scam “machine” constituted by the Covid solidarity fund, responsible for the explosion in the number of files sent to justice by the tax authorities during the year 2021. According to the report of activity of the DGFiP made public on Tuesday, there were indeed 4,168 fraud files last year, compared to 1,489 in 2020 (and 1,826 in 2019). Of these more than 4,000 files, approximately 2,500 concerned undue support for businesses.

In Île-de-France, companies have sometimes pocketed several tens – even hundreds – of thousands of euros, their bosses taking advantage in some cases of the money to afford holidays or redo their kitchens at the expense of the State.

The tax authorities indicated that they had recovered approximately 67 million euros unduly paid under the solidarity fund. The checks upstream of the payment of the aid would have made it possible to rule out approximately 10 billion euros of undue payments. In an interview with Le Parisien last January, Olivier Dussopt, then Minister Delegate for Public Accounts and now Minister of Labour, explained that the controls had in particular “targeted companies that have received aid for an amount greater than the turnover they declared the previous year. This was akin to “a clue” to a possible fraud.

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