Northern France: Fraud Press Review (March 2020)

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Even if the news were sadly dominated by the COVID-19, a few cases of fraud have been reported by the regional press, such as the “Madoff from Boulogne-sur-Mer” and the fraud committed by a dermatologist in Dunkerque.

Boulogne-sur-Mer: the "Madoff from Boulogne" judged for a 9 million euros scam

The trial of a former insurance broker took place in Boulogne-sur-Mer this month. The fraudster was accused for gang fraud, misuse of company assets and forging documents.

Between 2001 and 2012, the insurance broker would have swindled more than 80 customers, mainly around Boulogne-sur-Mer, for more than 9 million euros. He was offering saving products with very attractive performances (12% or more). The money was actually invested in very uncertain funds, such as a gold mine in Burkina Faso… The broker was helped by an insurer from the South of France to cash the investors cheques. This one committed suicide in 2011.

The broker was paying back the first investors with the funds of new customers, like in a “Ponzi” scheme. This is why he is compared to Bernard Madoff, the famous american fraudster. The first complaints were received in 2011, and the insurance broker was arrested in 2012.

The prosecutor has called for 5 years of prison (including 3 years of suspended prison). The judgment will be rendered in April.

Dunkerque: trial of a dermatologist suspected of having committed fraud

In Saint-Pol-sur-Mer near Dunkerque, the social security, URSSAF and the tax office claim more than 1 million euros to a dermatologist who would have committed fraudulent activities during the last years. The skin doctor, but also seven ex-employees as well as three nurses appeared before the Court in Dunkerque.

The dermatologist was accused for illegal practice of medicine, social security fraud and tax fraud. She would have invoiced and get paid for fictitious medical acts.

The prosecutor has called for three years of suspended prison, 15 000 euros penalties and the prohibition for exercising during 15 years for the dermatologist. About 700 000 euros have been seized in real estate and cash amounts. The judgment will be rendered in May.

Saint-Omer: a meeting about cybersecurity for the local SMEs

The economic development agency for the region of Saint-Omer and the “Flandre intérieure” (“Sofie” agency) organized a meeting to raise the enterprises awareness of the cybersecurity matters.

During this event, the “gendarmerie” services have reminded the main risks and the best practices in terms of cybersecurity. The partnership between the “gendarmerie” and the Hauts-de-France region has been presented to the business owners. This partnership was signed few weeks ago during the FIC 2020 in Lille, with the aim to educate and support the local enterprises against the cyberattack risks.