Czechia: Entrepreneur Charged With Using EU Funds to Pay Debts

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The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) filed an indictment today at the Regional Court of Ostrava (Czechia) against an entrepreneur, for subsidy fraud and money laundering. He is accused of using EU funds allocated to an IT project to pay his own debts. 

The defendant received €1 million (CZK 25 151 927.81) from the European Regional Development Fund, under the Operational Programme ‘Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness’. The funds were intended to create a modern system for long-term data storage in the Moravian-Silesian region.

According to the evidence, in order to receive the EU contribution, the defendant submitted false documents attesting that the company that he managed had secured sources of money for financing the project, as part of the beneficiary’s own contribution. It is understood that he also submitted false documents regarding the delivery of data archiving technology from companies in Germany and the United Kingdom. 

The investigation also showed that the defendant did not use the funds for the purposes of the project, but for paying his personal debts and other company obligations.

If found guilty, the defendant faces between 5 and 10 years in prison, as well as possible confiscation of property. 

All persons concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in the competent Czech courts of law.

The EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. It is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.

Source : Eppo