A chain of companies employing fifteen hundred security guards and cleaners, managed by two men from Budapest, caused billions in damage to the budget, Hungarian tax authority NAV writes in a statement. NAV’s staff has just been hit by a criminal alliance that is now suspected of budget fraud.
The two men’s companies undertook security and cleaning work. The main contractor involved subcontractors set up to issue fictitious invoices which did not carry out any real economic activity in the ‘supply,’ thus avoiding the payment of taxes (VAT). They caused a total of HUF 1.4 billion in damage to the budget.
One of the men, who has geen wanted for fraud since 2011, was tasked with training the subcontractors’ accomplices, keeping in touch with business partners, and making references to companies’ accounts. He had several pseudonyms, did not use a car, was on public transport or on foot for fear of police checks. He was waiting at a stop on the day of the raid, when NAV investigators took him away in handcuffs. He had a year and a half left until his statute of limitations, so he had to go to jail.
The members of the criminal alliance lived in luxurious conditions, and in addition to luxury real estate, investigators also included hundreds of millions of forints in cash and tens of millions of forints in watches. Cappy, the sniffer dog who quickly sniffed out hiding places, worked successfully to find the cash.
The suspects are being investigated for budget fraud committed in a criminal conspiracy, causing particularly significant financial damages. The main contractor, also accused of bribery, was arrested and his fleeing partner imprisoned to begin his four-year sentence.
Featured photo illustration via nav.gov.hu