11 million zlotys of defrauded subsidies - an indictment is issued
An indictment against members of a criminal group extorting EU subsidies has been filed at the District Court in Gdańsk. The defendants include former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd., researchers from the Gdańsk University of Technology and a former local government official. The investigation was conducted by officers of the CBA Regional Office in Gdańsk under the supervision of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Gdańsk.
Multi-million zloty frauds
The indictment was filed against 22 persons, 11 of whom acted as part of an organised crime group.
The indictment includes former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd., a former deputy director of the Department of Regional Programmes of the Office of the Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship and two academics of the Gdańsk University of Technology.
The perpetrators provided inaccurate data on the financial standing of the companies applying for grants, false information about the co-participating entities and overstated the costs of project implementation in their applications for funding for new technology projects.
The total amount of defrauded funds amounted to over PLN 11 million. Ultimately, the perpetrators intended to defraud another PLN 112 million.
Furthermore, members of the criminal group committed a crime of fraud to the benefit of the Pomorska Special Economic Zone Ltd., causing damage to it of over PLN 4 million, and attempted to defraud two banks for over PLN 10 million.
Acting to the detriment of the company and abuse of power
The former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd. were charged with acting negligently towards the company's assets which caused damage to the property of the entity they managed to the amount of over PLN 6 million and were found to have brought a direct threat of damage of over PLN 25 million. The mismanagement of the board was connected with the failure to apply the provisions of the Public Procurement Law and the conclusion of contracts that were not economically reasonable.
The local government official was accused of exceeding his powers and failing to fulfil his duties by changing the content of the post-control report in favour of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd. in connection with the control carried out in relation to the subsidy for the purchase of equipment for the Gdańsk Science and Technology Park managed by the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd.
Hundreds of interrogations, thousands of documents - multi-pronged CBA investigation
In the course of the multi-threaded investigation, officers of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau Regional Office in Gdańsk carried out over one hundred searches, secured over 200 data carriers, and questioned several hundred witnesses, experts and specialists. They conducted over 2.5 thousand visual inspections of secured objects and obtained documents. Motions and European investigation warrants were filed for procedural activities carried out outside Poland. The material gathered contains over 3 million cards.
Criminal liability of perpetrators
Members of the criminal group have been charged with offences under Article 286 § 1 of the Criminal Code in connection with Article 294 §1 of the Criminal Code and Article 299 § 1, § 5, and § 6 of the Criminal Code. These acts are punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The former members of the management board of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd. and the local government official face similar liability in connection with the qualification of their acts under Articles 296 § 1 and § 3 of the Criminal Code and 231 § 2 of the Criminal Code.
The researchers face a penalty of up to 8 years of imprisonment in connection with the allegation that they committed acts under Article 228 § 1 of the Criminal Code.