In Tenerife for a “long-term vacation”, she received 33,500 euros in unemployment benefits

Catherine (assumed name), was not present before the Namur criminal court on Wednesday. “She is in Tenerife“, specifies from the outset his counsel, Me Lambert. This is the whole problem of the file. The defendant evokes “long term vacation“. She met a diver with whom she made her life on this island… But forgot to report him in Belgium and fraudulently received 33,500 euros in unemployment benefits over a period of 5 years.

Amount that ONEM intends to recover. “A payment plan has been negotiated, she has planned to pay 100 euros per month and she is in the third month.“At this rate, it will take nearly 30 years for the defendant to repay her due.

For the labor auditor, it is clear that Catherine has left Belgium since at least 2017. “She has not had a vehicle listed in Belgium since 2012. The majority of her expenses are made in Tenerife. She rarely returns to Belgium, to visit her parents in Profondeville or, she says, to attend job interviews.

A fine of 4,800 euros is required. Counsel for the applicant pleads a work sentence, if it does not exceed 100 hours. Otherwise, distance requires, it would be unable to perform given the cost of travel. The widest reprieve on the fine penalty is requested.

Judgment on March 22.

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