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The manager of a wine company in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) has been convicted of attempted fraud relating to EU funds aimed at promoting the export of wine outside of the European Union. The manager submitted forged documents during the funding application and was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and a fine. Almost €400 000 worth of damages to the EU budget was prevented.

Whistleblowers are an essential source of information for investigation and public prosecution services. The correct transposition and effective implementation of Directive (EU)2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (Whistleblowers’ protection Directive) therefore is of direct operational relevance for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Today, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) moved against an organized criminal group active in Romania and Austria. Since early this morning, 160 house searches are ongoing, including at the homes of some civil servants and headquarters of public institutions, as a part of an ongoing investigation of 6 months into alleged fraud concerning European and Romanian funds of more than €5 million, laundered through a complex financial mechanism.

Three Latvian citizens have been convicted before Riga’s Vidzeme District Court for fraud committed in a procurement process for the construction of two high tunnel greenhouses, subsidised by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It is the first conviction in Latvia since the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) started its operations.

Last week, an investigation of the Vilnius office of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) led to arrests of 15 suspects and more than 50 searches in Lithuania, carried out by the Special Investigation Service STT (Specialiųjų tyrimų tarnyba). The suspects were allegedly involved in an illicit enrichment worth at least €250 000 and linked to a public procurement procedure funded by the European Union (EU).