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US News Ten thousandfold suspicion of fraud with Corona aid

14:01  17 september  2020
14:01  17 september  2020 Source:   ksta.de

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Public prosecutors and investigators take action in more than 10,000 cases across Germany for fraud with Corona emergency aid and other frauds.

This is the result of a survey by the German judges' newspaper among the justice ministries and public prosecutor's offices in the federal states, about which the editorial network Germany (RND) reported. Accordingly, all federal states reported cases except for Thuringia. According to the survey, which is available to the German Press Agency, the damage could amount to several million euros.

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The authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia registered most of the cases: More than 4,300 proceedings are pending there. The Cologne Public Prosecutor's Office alone is conducting around 900 cases of fraud involving a subsidy volume of more than 9 million euros. The second most cases are reported in Berlin, where more than 2000 cases are being investigated. So far, the public prosecutor's office in the capital has already processed 900 cases in which the damage totaled more than 6 million euros.

The German Association of Judges (DRB) assumes that the criminal law processing of the cases will keep the judiciary busy until well into next year. "Despite the expiry of the state aid programs, the public prosecutor's offices continue to reach new suspected cases of fraudulent Corona emergency aid," said DRB Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn to the RND.

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The alleged fraud is believed to have begun in the second quarter of 2019, although further details will have to come as the company conducts its investigation. The company told investors in its filing that they shouldn’t rely on the company’s recent financial statements, which are now believed to be

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References from the paying banks to possible criminal offenses were sometimes only received by the prosecutors after a long delay. "It is usually about cases of subsidy fraud, which require in-depth individual investigations and can not be done in a standardized way as a mass process," said Rebehn.

In Bavaria, the public prosecutor's offices deal with more than 1000 cases of fraud in connection with the pandemic. Almost half of the cases relate to fraudulent applications for emergency aid, the other half relate to other scams such as the sale of non-existent protective masks and medicines in fake shops.

Hessen and Hamburg also reported around 1,000 suspected cases, and more than 800 cases were received in Lower Saxony. The Saxon public prosecutor's offices are investigating around 500 cases of fraud, subsidy fraud and money laundering, in Saxony-Anhalt more than 600 cases are suspected of fraudulent subsidies from the Corona aid program. In the other federal states, the number of cases is in the lower three-digit range.

The emergency aid was intended to secure the economic existence of companies and the self-employed during the Corona crisis and to bridge acute liquidity bottlenecks. Small businesses and self-employed people could apply for a one-off grant of up to 15,000 euros from the beginning of April to the end of May. By the end of July, the federal government's immediate corona aid amounted to 13.4 billion euros. The amounts were paid out to around 1.75 million recipients via the federal states.

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