They are suspected of having taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to get their hands on state aid, for the tidy sum of 378,000 euros.
Their method: declare false employees and place them on short-time work.
Their mistake: to have declared no less than 45 employees on the same day, just before claiming compensation.
Partial unemployment fraud: a couple have embezzled more than 450,000 euros
If, initially, this construction company located in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne) succeeded in obtaining the payment of 200,000 euros corresponding to June and July 2020, the Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Competition, Consumption , du travail et de emploi (Direccte) subsequently suspected fraud and alerted the Meaux public prosecutor's office, which seized the Meaux judicial police.
The investigation, conducted by the Economic and Financial Section, resulted in the arrest of five men and two women, aged 20 to 65, belonging to three related families, living in Stains and Peyrefitte (Seine-Saint-Denis ) and Villejuif (Val-de-Marne).
The investigators of the PJ did not come to Noisiel for nothing: in the premises of the company - which in reality had only two or three employees - they got their hands on some 122,000 euros in cash!
The prosecution ordered the seizure of bank accounts
The investigations, carried out alongside the Interministerial Research Group (GIR) 77 revealed that these three families had mounted the same scheme with other construction companies established in Meaux, Paris, Créteil (Val-de-Marne), Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis), Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), in the Aisne or even in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin).
The total damage is thus evaluated at 378,000 euros, not to mention that the investigators discovered that the small band had tried, on four occasions, to defraud the State in the same way for an amount of 326,000 euros.
Not only were the 122,000 euros in cash placed under seal, but the Meaux prosecutor's office also ordered the seizure of the bank accounts of companies and individuals, up to 271,000 euros.
Not to mention the seizure of a Mercedes car.
This would correspond to the total amount of the scam of which they are suspected.
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All were brought before the Meaux prosecutor's office on Thursday, which requested the remand in custody of three of them and judicial review for the other four.
They will be tried for fraud and money laundering in mid-April, as part of a delayed appearance.