The Bucharest branch of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is investigating a fraud with European funds that was allegedly committed in connection with a contract for a 1 million euro project regarding the purchase of IT equipment and software, within the Regional Operational Program 2014-2020 of EU, three suspects were caught in the act when they received a commission of 70,000 in cash, the European Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday.
Following an investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bucharest, three suspects were caught red-handed on Thursday, March 9, when they received approximately 70,000 euros in cash, as part of the profit of their alleged fraud, EPPO claims.
On the same date, 10 house searches were carried out in five counties in Romania, in order to gather more evidence about the three suspects and about the respective companies, the European Prosecutor’s Office also states.
The suspects would have fraudulently obtained a contract for a 1 million euro project regarding the purchase of IT equipment and software, within the EU Regional Operational Program 2014-2020, which was partially financed from European structural and investment funds.
The beneficiary of the project is accused of having used false documents, issued by companies controlled by its representatives, to obtain the financing and implementation of the project based on inflated equipment costs, thus acquiring sums of money that ensured both project co-financing and personal profits.
The two main defendants had been detained for 24 hours on Friday, March 10, but released after, with the judge ruling they must be placed under judicial control for 30 days.
EPPO prosecutors have challenged the release to the Bucharest Court of Appeal, and asked for the defendants’ preventive arrest.