Northern France: Fraud Press Review (December 2020)

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This month in the North of France: the bitcoins dispenser in Lille suspected to be used for money-laundering, the President of Lille Metropole will be judged in the next future, as well as an accountant in Valenciennes for the misappropriation of public funds. In Bailleul, a transport company suffered an important prejudice due to the theft of sweets by employees.

Lille: the bitcoins dispenser has been sealed due to suspicions of money-laundering

Eight bitcoins dispensers have been sealed in France, including one in Lille. The machine in Lille had been installed in January 2020 by the Polish company ATS. The police from Lille has launched the investigation due to serious suspicions regarding the use of the dispensers for money-laundering purposes. The dispensers allow anyone to buy or sell bitcoins as well as other cryptocurrencies against cash money. They have not been registered with the AMF (Financial Markets Authority) as it should be. A total amount of 191 000 euros in cash has been seized in the eight dispensers.

Lille: the president of Lille Metropole with be judged for concealing breach of trust

In June 2020, the prosecutor’s office in Lille had requested a trial against D. Castelain, due to the delivery of blue stones to the house of the President of MEL (Lille Metropole). This month, the judge has decided to follow the prosecutor’s submissions considering that the President “had taken the initiative to ask for these materials free of charge”, at the time of the construction contract of the new stadium in Lille by Eiffage. He will be judged for “concealing breach of trust” on an unspecified date.

Valenciennes: a former accoutant will be judged for misappropriation of public money

A former accountant working for CROUS (the French national student service agency) in Valenciennes will be judged for the misappropriation of public funds. She would have embezzled around 65 000 euros between 2015 and 2016, and has been arrested recently after the investigation. The woman would have embezzled the founds by manipulating the accounting records and using the bank accounts of her relatives to obtain payments instead of students. The trial will take place in April 2021.

Bailleul: employees of a logistics company have stolen sweets... causing a loss of 60 000 euros

Some employees of a transport company in Bailleul have stolen good during a period of one year. The seven employees have stolen boxes of sweets within the company, for an estimated loss of 60 000 euros. Due to the complaints of several customers for missing deliveries, an investigation has been launched and the thieves have been identified with the security cams. They have been arrested at the beginning of the month.
In this case, the investigation seems to have been done by the company management itself. In many other cases, a private investigator will be able to identify the thieves and also the destination of the stolen goods, collecting evidence for a proceeding.