Northern France: Fraud Press Review (September 2020)

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This month in the northern France: a former union leader at Ascoval suspected of misappropriation for 500 000 euros, a pharmacist in Lille judged for high-level social security fraud, and fraudulent sales of plots in a cementery in Valenciennes.

Valenciennes: a former union leader at Ascoval suspected of having diverted 500 000 euros

Bruno Kopczinsky, former treasurer at the union of the Ascoval workers in Saint-Saulve, has been very exposed during the past years while the company Ascoval was threatened with closure. He is now the subject of a complaint for breach of trust and the misappropriation of 500 000 euros between 2015 and 2019.

The former unionist would have misappropriated these funds while Ascoval and 280 employees were in a difficult situation. An investigation has been launched by the police in Lille.

Lille: a pharmacist judged for social security fraud (1 million euros)

A young pharmacist in Lille has been judged for social security fraud with a prejudice of one million euros. The pharmacy had a margin of 50%, while the average in this business is around 33%. A few customers, including some relatives of the pharmacist, were used to invoice fake services.

The fraudster has recognized the facts, which he explained by an “accounting stress” regarding his young company. Most of the amounts has been recovered. The judge should give his decision in October.

Valenciennes: fraud on the sales of the cementery's plots

An important fraud has been discovered in Valenciennes, where municipal officers have fraudulently sold plots at the Saint-Roch cementery. The prejudice would reach 560 000 euros for facts occuring since the 1980s.

The municipal officers would have removed plots that they had reported as being in a bad state, without notifying the families, before selling these plots in a fraudulent way. A complaint has been lodged by the city of Valenciennes after an internal investigation.

Hauts-de-France: the region represents 10% of the social security fraud in France

The French Court of Auditors has published a report on the social benefits fraud, with figures regarding the fraud detected in 2019. At the french level, the amount of the reported fraud has reached one billion euros. This is only a small part of the real fraud, which is not possible to quantify.

Regarding the social security fraud, a prejudice of 219 million euros has been reported in 2019. The region of Hauts-de-France is one of the main contributors with 21 million euros, which represents 10% of the fraud at the national level.

Bailleul: an accountant sentenced for the misappropriation of 79 000 euros

The former accountant of a temporary employment agency in Bailleul was judged in Dunkirk for misappropriation of funds. The facts occured in 2017 and 2018, when he has realized bank transfers for 79 000 euros… directly to his personal bank account.

He has recognized the facts and has been sentenced to 18 months of suspended prison and the reimbursement of the total amount to his former employer. He is also prohibited from exercising any accounting activity.

In 2019, the fraudster had been sentenced for similar facts in a nursing home near Lille.