In an investigation into suspected fraud concerning the housing of victims of the 2016 earthquake in Italy, the pre-trial judge of the Court of Teramo, at the request of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), granted an order for freezing assets of €800 000, which was executed by the Guardia di Finanza (Italian Financial Police).
The suspect, acting as the legal representative of a company owning a hotel, based in the province of Teramo, is believed to have falsely reported to have provided temporary accommodation for families affected by the earthquake of August 2016 in the region of Abruzzo. It is understood that these victims were never hosted at the hotel, or were housed there for shorter periods than those declared.
According to the investigation, the suspect unduly received a total amount of €800 000, partly originating from the European Union Solidarity Fund, for services not rendered.
The manager of the facility was reported for aggravated fraud against the European Union.
In order to fully recover the damages to the EU budget, the EPPO’s Rome office requested the seizure of assets, which was executed on bank accounts and on one real estate property on 13 and 30 December 2022.
All persons concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in the competent Italian courts of law.