Applications for over 2.5 million
As soon as the state decides on Corona aid in the spring, the first attempts at fraud become known. The District Court of Munich I has been dealing with a particularly large case since Monday.
After an hour, the presiding judge’s patience ends – and he interrupts Tayfun Y’s lecture. The 31-year-old, who was born in Gelsenkirchen, is accused of multi-million dollar subsidy fraud with Corona emergency aid in six federal states.
That is why on Monday he stands in front of the Munich I Regional Court, where Y. presents his detailed, complexly worded statement full of allegations to the judiciary in a halting voice.
“I can now just let them talk and then ask what that has to do with the matter,” the chairman explains to the defendant, why he interrupted him. Until then, Y. had mainly worked on the jurisdiction of the court, the circumstances of his arrest and his transfer to Bavaria. The judge, however, wants to know whether Y. will admit the alleged acts or not.
In Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland, Y. is said to have made 91 unjustified applications in March and April 2020 using bogus identities. In total, it is more than 2.5 million euros. Almost 68,000 euros of this should have been paid out, the rest was stopped.
Y. says little about this on Monday. He merely states that it would be possible that he would only want to help entrepreneurs with a migration background for a fee to apply for help. But he does not want to say whether he made the applications.
The prosecutor assumes that Y. made the applications and wanted to transfer the money abroad from his private account via a cryptocurrency exchange. This should have happened with a good 36,000 euros.
The main focus of the accused Y. applications was Bavaria with 23 cases and a total of 1.1 million euros. The 31-year-old is said to have been particularly active in North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin.
Nationwide, numerous similar processes are likely to occupy the courts. “Criminals took advantage of the current emergency in order to enrich themselves financially,” says the Federal Criminal Police Office. The German Association of Judges (DRB) speaks of significantly more than 20,000 pandemic-related cases. “It will be well into the current year before the judiciary has processed all corona criminal proceedings,” says DRB Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn.
Fraud with Corona aid is now much more difficult
In Bavaria alone, according to the Ministry of Justice, the public prosecutor’s offices have initiated at least 844 investigation and preliminary investigation procedures in connection with applications for immediate corona aid from the federal and state governments. Bavaria’s Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich (CSU) sees the Bavarian judiciary as “very vigilant and well positioned”.
Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) emphasizes that the suspected abuse and fraud cases in Bavaria were limited in comparison to other federal states. “The Bavarian way of checking applications instead of waving them through in a hurry has made it difficult for fraudsters to do their job,” he says.
For Y., however, the allegations do not end with the alleged subsidy fraud. While still in custody, he is said to have tried in the summer to obtain payment orders against his former public defender, the public prosecutor responsible at the time and several other people. This involved sums between 250,000 euros and 1.7 million euros. The public prosecutor’s office accuses him of attempted computer fraud. Y. admitted making the applications on Monday.
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