OLAF signals over 30 suspected fraud cases to prosecutor since 2012
Budapest, May 16 (MTI) – The European Union’s anti-fraud office, OLAF, has issued 30 judicial recommendations and four notifications in connection with suspected fraud cases to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office since 2012, a spokesman for the office said on Tuesday.
Criminal investigations have been launched in all of the cases, Géza Fezakas said at a press event.
He said charges had been raised in seven cases while the authority had dropped investigations into seven others. Investigations are proceeding in all the other cases, he added.
He said binding verdicts had been handed down against two individuals who had been found guilty of abuse of funds in connection with a project of printing machines. The primary suspect was given a suspended prison sentence while the accomplice was fined, he said.
Fazekas said OLAF had yet to issue any notifications or recommendations this year. The spokesman explained that OLAF issues recommendations for criminal procedures to authorities in member states when it suspects criminal activity. The office issues notifications when it simply forwards its evidence to a member state so that its own authorities can decide how to handle the suspected cases.
Bettina Bagoly, a spokeswoman for the Budapest prosecutor’s office, said the authority brought charges last month against three individuals suspected of fraud. The primary suspect, who heads a Budapest-based IT company, submitted an application to the National Development Agency for funding for software development in October 2011, providing a Debrecen address as the place of the project’s implementation. But in reality the company operated in Budapest, and while it had rented office space in Debrecen, those offices were unfit for purpose, Bagoly said. The suspect is accused of defrauding the EU of 80 million forints (EUR 259,000) and the Hungarian state of 35 million forints, she said.