Updated on 30 June
Yesterday, within the framework of an investigation led by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Zlín (Czechia), Czech police (Regional Directorate of the Olomouc region) delivered a resolution to commence the prosecution of one individual and one company. They are accused of subsidy fraud and damages to the financial interests of the European Union (EU), estimated at over €1.8 million (CZK 45.8 million).
In 2020, the accused individual submitted two requests for payment for a total amount of €1.8 million to the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) for an EU-funded project to expand a new technological centre, which was entirely financed by the EU Structural Fund. It is alleged that the prices of the machinery requested by the suspect were falsely increased, and that he provided false and incorrect documents to receive more money.
A subsequent inspection by the MIT found discrepancies between the offers submitted on paper and the prices from the actual supplier. To recover the damages to the EU budget, the Czech police and the EPPO seized money and real estate property worth more than €2 million from the accused individual and company.
Update from 30 June 2023
Two more individuals and two more companies are suspected of having helped the main suspect to receive €1.8 million in EU funds for the expansion of a new technological centre.
They submitted false documents for the delivery of goods like machines and tools in the value of €270 000 in total. Both individuals and their respective companies have received an official notification that a prosecution proceeding against them has started. €41 670 have been seized from their bank accounts last week.
The main suspect is also in the process of paying back the total amount of damages of €1.8 million, as part of the plea agreement.