France: millions of cases of unemployment fraud due to COVID-19

The Paris Prosecutor’s office is currently conducting a nationwide investigation into mass fraud and money laundering by organized criminal groups, which it has not identified, Statesville reports.

France had an exceptionally generous temporary unemployment scheme that subsidized workers ‘ wages, while restaurants, schools and businesses across the economy closed for two months or more to contain the Covid-19.

The criminals took advantage of this, successfully receiving more than 2 million euros from the state, which did not go to work, the Paris Prosecutor’s office said in a statement. So far, the authorities have been able to suspend regular payments for another 6 million euros and return 421,000 euros already spent on non-existent workers.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Toulouse and the Central French city of Limoges initially began investigating an unusually large number of similar applications from companies to receive money from a temporary unemployment Fund. Investigators found that the applicants used the registration numbers of companies that did not apply for state wage subsidies, and sent the money to hundreds of French Bank accounts, rather than to workers.

France has spent billions of euros on a temporary unemployment program that was credited with keeping people employed and allowing businesses to stay afloat during the lockdown. The economy has started to pick up as France gradually opens up, but tourism is muted and many companies are struggling to revive, and the country is still experiencing its worst recession in decades.

Early reported that 4 high-ranking officials in the office of the Prime Minister of Uganda (OPM), accused of fraud in connection with the purchase of emergency food aid to people affected by the blocking of “Covid-19”, were sent to the anti-corruption court for trial.