Tuesday, 1 March 2016

First convictions for FP6/7 fraud

In 2010, reports emerged of a fraud in the EU’s research programme, with suspicions going back to 2007 or earlier. The fraud was alleged to have involved a network of organisations in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Slovenia, Poland and the UK. Proposals were submitted including reputable organisations without their permission, who were then replaced by network members. Fictitious staff with fabricated curricula vitae were listed. E-mails between these fictitious staff were generated to make it appear that they had worked on the projects

In 2011, Italian police raided offices in Milan and arrested staff suspected of involvement in the fraud. Almost five years later, eight individuals have been found guilty of the fraud. The Italian authorities estimate that the EU budget suffered a loss of over 1.8 million euro. The EC’s anti-fraud office has released a summary of the fraud, but made no mention whether legal action is being pursued in other countries.

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