A case of unprecedented fraud against IKA has been uncovered, a fraud that caused Greece’s biggest social security fund damages of at least 6 million euro. Involved in the fraud are four female senior employees at the IKA branch in Kallithea suburb in the South of Athens and two spouses. With fake prescriptions, medical expenses, virtual hospitalisations and allowances those not eligible to receive, the IKA officials managed to cash at least 6 million euro since 2003.
The IKA officers used to certify decisions to grant childbirth benefits and allowances, virtual hospitalisation, spa treatment and medical care of any kind. In some cases and in cooperation with IKA-insurers or even non-insurers, they used to issue fake hospitalisation orders, gave 20% of the illegal fund to the insurers and keep the rest for themselves. Often they personally or family members and friends appeared as ‘beneficiaries’. In some case, they also used the data of insurers, claimed benefits and allowances and cashed them.
In cooperation with the economic police the prosecutor opened the bank accounts of the the four IKA employees and double checked moves before proceeding to the arrest of the six persons. The prosecutor filed charges for five felonies: Fraud against the public, Embezzlement in the service, Forgery, Money laundering and Criminal organisation.
The general director of IKA fund Rovertos Spyropoulos said that 6 million euro was the amount the defendants cashed from 244 cases. 260 more cases were under investigation and could triple the illegal profit.
Police investigation revealed also that the four or even other IKA employees used to ‘fish’ employees at private enterprises and would promise them benefits and allowances. The fake ‘beneficiaries’ would get a small percentage, while the IKA employees would get the lion’s portion.
It is estimated that more than 300 persons were involved in the fraud.
Money, Money, Money…
The investigation started two months ago, when a ‘mysterious revenues loss’ was recorded in the IKA branch in Kallithea. The four women were holding “key” positions in this special IKA branch, positions that allowed them to have access to records, financial services, allowance and benefits decisions. The police expressed the suspicion that also other employees may have been involved in the frauds case. According to Greek police, the spouses aided the IKA employees to legalize the money.
They all live a high life residing in villas, not seldom with swimming pools.
When the economic police checked their bank accounts and made cross-checking with tax declarations, it found huge discrepancies between the declared income, the bank deposits and the assets acquired from 2003 until today.
During a home search, police found 966,900 euro banknotes of 500, 200, 100 and 50 euros hidden in a package of baby nappies.
Police seized also, four cheques sheets worth 110,000 euros, 45 IKA books belonging to several insurers, IKA pension stamps and 13 IKA seals from various departments and various professional individuals.
Seized were four luxury cars.
The names of the defendants have been given to the public.
The IKA employees have been working together in the IKA for twenty years. (Sources: Capital.gr, Ethnos.gr, Zougla.,gr, To Vima)
It is interesting to see that some of the defendants have reached the age, where normally public servants go into retirement. No wonder, they chose to ‘work’ than to go into early retirement…
PS Now my cousin wonders, why it was impossible for her father to make an appointment with the disability committee of this IKA branch for more than six months. The man, 82, has been often told, he should go home and they would writtenly inform him, when the appointment would be. No letter from IKA ever reached his mailbox. When he went to complain after having waited for two months, he was told to come after two weeks and get the appointment. However the IKA employee was absent and nobody knew about any appointment. BTW: the man does not get any allowance, he only needs the disability certification for tax purposes.
Were the IKA employees expecting a “fakellaki” (bribes in an envelope)? Was it because of the investigation? During prime time news this evening, I saw in Mega TV insurers at the Kallithea IKA branch claiming that everybody knew there was something wrong there. It seems that every body knew. Except the IKA general management and my uncle ….
They all corrupt sick people who must rot, just keep on turning the boulders and u will find what people turn a blind eye to.
Well now another woman of 66years old also arrested in this fraud. Seize and sell all their assets, the villas, the cars the cash not forgetting the 960,000 euros found in a ‘diaper box’ at one of their premises and either return it to IKA or charities, the homeless, children’s charities, buy some much needed equipment for hospitals -ANYTHING – but do some good with it. Leave them with nothing. That’s what I would like to see happen….but it’s not going to:(
in pre-elections time? oh, I think something will happen with them to show the angry public “how seruous we are to combat corruption”
Hope so KTG, it’s the tip of the iceberg as they say, there’s more to come yet.
The start of a new week – hope it’s a good one for you.
for eveyrone, rima and thanks