While the milestone of 50,000 checks on requests for partial unemployment has been crossed, the Ministry of Labor said Thursday, September 17, that the amount of fraud was now estimated at 225 million euros, including more than half has already been blocked or recovered. The checks resulted in 9,500 « suspicions » fraud and 440 ongoing criminal proceedings, the same source told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The 225 million euros of fraud represent less than 1% of the total budget devoted to partial activity (30 billion euros), which was widely used in the coronavirus crisis, with nearly 9 million employees affected in the height of the crisis in April, a figure fell to 2.4 million in July.
At the end of July, the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, had indicated that 25,000 checks had led to 1,400 “suspicions” of fraud. She had anticipated these 50,000 checks before ” the end of summer “. For the Ministry of Labor, “The amount of fraud may seem significant, but in view of the 30 billion mobilized, it is ultimately quite little”, adding: “There are always crooks and people taking advantage of the system. “
Lack of supporting documents
Humanity and the Chained duck reported, this week, the alert message from an agent of the labor inspectorate of Seine-Saint-Denis, after fifteen days devoted to studying partial activity files.
The four-page document, consulted by AFP, in which the agent said he had “Stopped sleeping” and evokes a “Financial disaster”, reports in particular the case of a company having received approximately 147,000 euros “And whose money has already gone to Poland from an online account opened without proof of address”. He also mentions at least five companies that have “No employee known to Urssaf” for which he requested the blocking of payment.
“We think that all this is massive at the national level”, told AFP Simon Picou, CGT union representative of the labor inspectorate. “We open a box full of banknotes and say: “serve yourself” », he added, deploring in particular the lack of supporting documents requested from companies.
In a report published Monday, the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry into social fraud estimated, for its part, that the partial activity device “Appears to be vulnerable to fraud” and considered that the controls should be “Amplified”.
In the event of fraud, the penalties range up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros, and as regards administrative penalties, they provide for the reimbursement of aid and exclusion from the benefit of aid up to five years.