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Gdansk. 11 million subsidies extorted. There’s an indictment against 22 people

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An indictment against 22 people who allegedly extorted EU subsidies was filed with the District Court in Gdańsk. Among the accused – according to the prosecutor’s office – are former board members of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, scientists from the Gdańsk University of Technology and a former local government official.

The indictment was directed against 22 people, including 11 – according to the police – acting as part of an organized criminal group. It covered former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone sp. z o. o., former Deputy Director of the Department of Regional Programs of the Marshal’s Office of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and two research workers of the Gdańsk University of Technology.

The indictment addressed to the District Court in Gdańsk in the investigation conducted jointly with the officers of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, concerns, among others, extortion and attempted extortion of EU funds and irregularities in the functioning of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone (PSSE) in the years 2009-2015.

Read also: 12 people suspected of extorting 82 million

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– The defendants were charged with a total of 160 crimes. They mainly concern fraud, as well as attempts to commit fraud against property of significant value, money laundering, committing fiscal and corruption crimes, said the spokesperson of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk, Marzena Muklewicz.

According to the investigators, the suspects set up fictitious companies operating in the so-called new technology industry. According to the prosecutor’s office, the perpetrators in their applications for project co-financing provided unreliable data on the financial condition of the companies applying for subsidies, false information about co-participating entities, and overstated the costs of project implementation.

– They prepared false documents, multiplied – in a way that found no justification – the value of the project, then faked their implementation using companies often created only to fake the real implementation of the project, de facto personally connected with the suspects. Moreover, they prepared documents stating untruths as to the allocation and actual use of the funds, thus obtaining multi-million benefits to the detriment of both the State Treasury and the European Union budget. As part of the settlement of the subsidies obtained, they additionally undertook actions aimed at overstating the costs of project implementation – explained Muklewicz.

Read also: Fictional lists of students and activities that never happened. The city hall revealed an attempt to extort subsidies

The total amount of fraudulent funds amounted to over PLN 11 million. Ultimately, the perpetrators intended to extort another PLN 112 million from EU funds – the Operational Program Innovative Economy, the Operational Program Intelligent Development and others.

In addition, members of the criminal group committed fraud for the benefit of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone sp. z oo, causing damage to it in excess of PLN 4 million, and attempted fraud to the detriment of two banks for the amount of over PLN 10 million.

Acting to the detriment of the company and exceeding its powers

According to the prosecutor’s office, former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone sp. z o. o. were accused of having caused damage to the property of the entity managed by them in the amount of over PLN 6 million, and it was shown that they caused an immediate danger of causing damage to the amount of over PLN 6 million PLN 25 million. The mismanagement of the management board was related to the non-application of the provisions of the Public Procurement Law and the conclusion of contracts that were not economically justified.

Read also: They took a subsidy from the Union for the production of candles. They are suspected of extorting PLN 21 million

A local government official was accused of exceeding his powers and failing to fulfill his obligations by changing the content of the post-inspection information in favor of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone sp.

Over 500 witness interviews and 100 searches

In the course of the investigation, several hundred interrogations of suspects, over 500 interrogations of witnesses and several interrogations of experts and specialists were carried out. More than 100 searches were carried out in the case, obtaining in this way, among others, more than two hundred IT data carriers. Over 2.5 thousand inspections of seized objects and obtained documents were carried out. Numerous pieces of information were also obtained from various types of entities and several dozen pieces of information on bank accounts. In addition, about 100 expert opinions of various specialties and several dozen criminal analyzes were obtained. Activities within the framework of international legal assistance were also carried out. The case file consists of almost 500 volumes and dozens of attachments, including electronic data carriers.

The leader of the group and members of the criminal group are liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years. A similar liability threatens former members of the board of the PSSE and a local government official. Currently, all suspects are at large. They will be held accountable in court.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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