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Judgment Wednesday for influencer suspected of massive Covid aid scam

2022-07-06T03:29:02.521Z

He is suspected of having set up a massive Covid aid scam via social networks: the Paris court rules on Wednesday July 6 on...



He is suspected of having set up a massive Covid aid scam via social networks: the Paris court rules on Wednesday July 6 on the fate of Paul A. alias “PA7” and his six co-defendants.

This 24-year-old man, who in 2021 posted photos of himself in front of a luxury car and a swimming pool in Dubai where he had settled, appeared in mid-June, in particular for organized fraud.

The public prosecutor requested against him seven years' imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 euros.

Read alsoThe fantasized life in Dubai of PA7, influencer who hijacked millions of “Covid aid”

He admitted having set up a

“business”

at the time of the health crisis: filling out falsified forms, on behalf of self-employed or self-employed people, for the business solidarity fund set up in March 2020.

“Customers”

were recruited via

“advertisements”

on social networks, short videos where he launched for example:

“There are 4,500 euros to take.

You're an entrepreneur, you send a message on whatsapp, in 48 hours.

Let’s go for the show”

.

Many attempts did not pass but others worked: on the public money paid, he then took a commission - which could go up to 40% according to the prosecution.

The public prosecutor linked him, between March 2020 and July 2021, to nearly 700 fraudulent requests, for 33.8 million euros claimed and 7.5 million actually paid – i.e. more than 3 million in commissions.

Amounts refuted by "PA7", his lawyer believing that he had actually pocketed

"one million euros maximum"

.

Speaking of an

“immature young man”

, far from

“great crime”

, who recognized the facts, Me Carole Foissy warned in her argument against the temptation to

“make an example of it”

.

Read alsoThese Covid aid frauds that risk being detected in the spring of 2022

Against his

"best friend"

, aged 24, who had accompanied him to Dubai where they

"flamed"

for a few months, the prosecutor requested six years' imprisonment and a fine of 80,000 euros.

Stressing that he has no record and also admitted his participation, his lawyer called for

"a sentence that allows him to regain his freedom"

.

Two to four years in prison with, depending on the case, fines of up to 80,000 euros, were required against three other defendants, suspected of having participated in the scam.

The prosecution requested a four-month suspended sentence for a "client" of "PA7" - parallel proceedings target the other alleged wrongful beneficiaries.

A last defendant, absent, is the subject of an arrest warrant.

"PA7" still had 51,000 Snapchat subscribers at the start of the trial, but that number has since dropped.

He had changed his status by mentioning:

"currently in prison"

- since his placement in pre-trial detention in the summer of 2021, cell phones have been found several times in his cell.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-07-06

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