In a criminal case – in which the investigations were partly based on the judicial recommendation of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) - the Metropolitan Public Prosecution Office has filed an indictment for unauthorized use of EU subventions and proposed that the court shall sentence the defendants to imprisonment.
Pursuant to the essence of the indictment one of the defendants, a 74-year-old man was the managing director of a company that machined aluminum castings. The company procured the machines needed for its operations from a salesman based in Liechtenstein. On behalf of the Liechtenstein company the other defendant, a 67-year-old man has negotiated the prices. The two men have decided that - by circumventing the EU subvention system, based on untrue offers - they will apply for overshot sums of money using the company of the 74-year-old man and the company of his relative. Accordingly - between the years 2009-2011 - the machine tools have been purchased five times at prices higher than the normal market price using non-refundable EU funding to posteriorly finance the purchase. The financial damage caused was HUF 272 million (approx. EUR 874.000), of which nearly HUF 70 million was recovered.
OLAF investigated the subventions and submitted a judicial recommendation to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Hungary. The Office of the Prosecutor General – although no such legal obligation exists - initiates criminal proceedings on the basis of all OLAF recommendations or, if criminal proceedings have already been introduced before the recommendation, extends the investigation to the OLAF recommendation. In the present case, in a criminal case initiated shortly before the recommendation, the investigating authority also examined the content of OLAF recommendation, and on the basis of a follow-up investigation, the Ministry of Finance also issued a criminal complaint.
As a result of an extensive investigation by the National Tax- and Customs Administration, the Metropolitan Public Prosecution Office has charged the two men with the felony of budgetary fraud causing particularly severe damage. In the indictment the prosecutor moved to sentence four persons to imprisonment and a fine, in addition to banning them from practicing public affairs and running a business. A lesser punishment is acceptable by the prosecution only if the guilt is fully admitted.
- Publication date
- 26 November 2020
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- Partner's press release