On Thursday, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) demanded prison sentences, community service and fines against the suspects in the case involving corruption, fraud, money laundering and forgery at Vestia, a housing corporation in Rotterdam.
The two main suspects were both employed by Vestia; one as a property manager, the other as a social management employee. The Public Prosecution Service demands against them 4 years and 3 years in prison, of which 1 year is conditional. The other suspects were demanded sentences ranging from unconditional prison sentences to community service, and the Public Prosecution Service demanded fines against the companies.
Housing association disadvantaged for 2.5 million euros
For years, the two main suspects have taken bribes to assign assignments to various parties (maintenance and cleaning companies from the Rotterdam region). Research has shown that kickback constructions have been rigged. In total, the housing association was harmed by these mala fide practices for approximately 2.5 million euros. The darkening of semi-public funds affects not only the organization itself, but also the social tenants.
Shamelessly abused situation
‘The conduct of the two main suspects has not only led to unfair competition, but the trust placed in the employees by the housing association has also been grossly shamed. The suspects have shamelessly abused their position and thereby significantly enriched themselves at the expense of the employee. This case also makes it clear that corruption does not at all – as is often believed – only take place far beyond national borders or in certain criminal environments. It also takes place – as this case makes clear – on a large scale at apparently very ordinary ‘normal’ companies here in the Netherlands.’, according to the public prosecutor.
Research has shown that offers from subcontractors have also been increased without them being aware of this. For example, an offer that originally amounted to € 39,600 was increased to € 123,246 to the housing corporation. The suspects shared the difference. In a number of cases, companies even invoiced for work that was not carried out at all, such as – difficult to control – cleaning gutters. The Fiod has calculated that Vestia paid €320,000 too much to one of the subcontractors just for cleaning the gutters.
The Public Prosecution Service is responsible for tackling corruption under criminal law. Corruption undermines the trust of citizens and leads to social outrage. Corruption harms companies, governments and society. This affects the fair and efficient performance of public duties and the functioning of the economic system. The court will rule on December 24.
Large-scale corruption in ‘normal’ companies in the Netherlands
Source link Large-scale corruption in ‘normal’ companies in the Netherlands