Northern France: Fraud Press Review (December 2019)

Back To Blog

This month, an accountant from Lille has been judged for the misappropriation of several million euros, as well as a fraudster who created a fake investment company in Dunkirk. There are also some news in the Vitaleco affair.

Lille: an accountant and a company president had diverted more than 2 million euros

An employee of an accounting firm is suspected of having diverted several million from the companies he was working for. Using fake invoices, the accountant together with the president of these companies, both from Lille, would have diverted more than 2.5 million euros on their bank accounts. The scam has been done over fifteen years.

The two suspects as well as their spouses have been arrested this month. More than 700 000 euros have been seized. The accountant and his accomplice have admitted the facts and will be judged later on.

Fake invoices are frequently used by fraudsters to justify payments and divert money from companies.

Dunkirk: a man judged for having scammed around 100 people through a fake investment company

Two years ago, a young man had “created” a fake company called “Sasha Investissement”. He offered to his victims to invest cash amounts on sport bets. He was guaranteeing to recover at least their capital invested.

More than one hundred people have invested in the fake company. It was actually a pyramid scheme (also called “Ponzi scheme”) where the founds of the new investors were used to pay back the first investors. The fraudster was gambling high amounts in the Dunkirk Casino, where he would have spent 271 000 euros during a few months only.

The investors started to ask for their money back, and the young fraudster could not find another solution than writing fake documents to play for time.

The suspect has admitted the facts before the Court in Dunkirk. The victims ask for more than 200 000 euros. The judgement will be delivered in February 2020.

Lille: the Court cancelled the proceedings in the Vitaleco affair

Last month, we talked about the Vitaleco affair, a company selling renewable energy equipments subject to about 800 complaints for scam with an overall damage higher than 10 million euros.

On the 9th of December, the Court in Lille has cancelled the proceedings, considering that the rights of defence had not been respected. The defence counsels, including Maître Franck Berton, said that the investigation had been continued after the suspects received the convening notice.

The hundreds of victims keep hope as the prosecution has appealed against this decision.

See Me Franck Berton’s interview for France 3 after the proceedings cancellation (in French):

Roubaix: illegal gambling in a tea house

In Roubaix, police has found an illegal gambling system in a tea room a few months ago. A computer as well as a tablet were connected to a website used to bet on sports. Some people managed the system from Germany, and were paying a commission to the tea room for hosting the system.

The illegal gambling was quite profitable as a single computer could bring from 10 000 to 15 000 euros per month to its owner. This month, the tea room owner and his successor have been given suspended prison sentences and a fine of respectively 6 000 € and 3 000 €.