Several parties involved in the so-called Bulgarian fraud have received damages due to the allowance issue. According to the press platform from a reporter This is evidenced by an internal investigation by the Treasury in response to reports from Jesse Frederick of De Correspondent. It is unclear how many people and funds are involved.
In 2013, it was revealed that people in Bulgaria had been “recruited” by criminals to apply for benefits here. The money paid went to the criminals and often the Bulgarians returned to Bulgaria with about 500 euros in their pockets. It is not clear whether applicants for compensation also come from Bulgaria, according to De Correspondent, because citizenship data can no longer be viewed in the tax authorities.
“We are currently investigating indications about awarding compensation to people who are not entitled to it, or who have abused the childcare allowance,” the Finance Ministry said in a response to De Correspondent. “Foreign Secretary Van Hovelin reportedly told the House of Representatives the first ideas of this research during the debate last Thursday. That debate was canceled due to the coalition agreement controversy and postponed to January.”
Those involved in Bulgarian fraud can receive compensation because the tax authorities have given them the characteristic of “intent / gross negligence”. Because of the allowance issue, a compensation plan was introduced for people who were categorized in this way. It is now assumed that everyone has been wrongly accused of “willful/gross negligence”, unless someone has been criminally convicted or sentenced to a criminal fine. But the Bulgarians were never convicted, because they were both perpetrators and victims of the criminals who recruited them.
According to De Correspondent, firing letters are now circulating within tax authorities warning of excessive compensation. “Maybe everyone within the service will agree that the real victims should be compensated generously,” reads a message from the intense monitoring team. “But (…) if this continues, within a few years, the then current Secretary of State may again be responsible for these abuses.”
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