BERLIN ( Associated Press) — Police raided homes and offices in northern and western Germany on Tuesday, investigating a case against five people accused of fraudulently applying for 26 million ($28 million) in aid related to the pandemic. done.
The German government rolled out a series of aid packages to help businesses cope with the effects of lockdowns and other restrictions at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The suspects in the investigation – men aged 26 to 62 – were charged with making at least 363 aid applications under false pretenses “for their own purposes and for the companies that commissioned them,” according to a police statement. doubt. It is believed to have caused damages of several million euros.
The investigation was launched in April 2020 after a development bank in the northern state of Lower Saxony reported suspicious activity. Twenty-five properties were raided on Tuesday, including the homes of five suspects, but police said no arrests had been made. They confiscated assets totaling 3.5 million euros, confiscating cash and expensive watches.
In a separate case, a 20-year-old man was convicted of fraud on Monday in the southwestern city of Freiburg, a testing center he never opened, for taking 5.7 million euros last year from a doctors union, the German news agency DPA reported.
Later a bank returned the money.
The court, after one year of probation, will decide whether to punish under the juvenile law or not. The DPA reported that he was ordered to pay 1,500 euros to charity and cover the cost of the proceedings.