Skip to main content
European Union flag
The independent public prosecution office of the EU
Report a crime

Romania: EPPO probes public institutions in investigation into €1.6 million fraud involving employment funds

Published on

(Luxembourg, 03 August 2023) – The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Cluj-Napoca and Iaşi (Romania) is carrying out searches today in 17 locations, including public institutions, in an investigation into a €1.6 million fraud involving EU and national funds intended to promote employment.

The searches are being carried out at the homes of public officials and in six public institutions – four of which located in the county of Bacău and two in the county of Neamț. Eleven individuals will be brought to the EPPO’s Iasi office for questioning.

The public officials are believed to have supported an organised crime group under investigation, by accepting the submission of falsified documents, issuing forged documents and coordinating the formal preparation of submissions, in order to justify payments from EU funds. Searches had already been carried out earlier this year, on 15 February 2023.

According to the investigation, the organised crime group had set up seven fictitious companies, in order to fraudulently obtain EU and national subsidies, aimed at helping unemployed people to improve their skills and job prospects. The suspects are believed to have hired 197 people under false pretences, thus defrauding the EU and national budgets of a total of €1.67 million (85% pertaining to the budget of the European Union and 15% to Romania’s national budget).

The ongoing house searches are mobilising dozens of police officers from the Bacău Organised Crime Brigade (Brigada de Combatere a Criminalității Organizate), as well as the Special Operations Brigade (Brigada de Operațiuni Speciale) and the Romanian Gendarmerie (Jandarmeria Română – Gruparea Mobilă de Jandarmi Bacău).

All persons concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in the competent Romanian courts of law.

The EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. Itis responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.