France uncovers ‘massive fraud’ of virus wage payouts | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 11, 2020

France uncovers ‘massive fraud’ of virus wage payouts

The Paris prosecutor's office said yesterday that it was investigating "massive fraud" across France by people falsely claiming temporary wage assistance for employees laid off during the coronavirus lockdown.

As the crisis hit, the government quickly introduced a system to pay around 84 percent of net salary for people no longer able to work.

Thousands of firms applied for the payments, allowing millions of people to avoid a sudden drop in revenue -- in the first month alone the programme paid out some 24 billion euros ($27 billion).

But officials soon began noticing suspicious similarities in some applications, in many cases by people who surreptitiously used the tax registration numbers of firms that had not applied for the funds.

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