A Norwegian man living in Thailand was found guilty by the Oslo District Court for scamming the Norwegian government’s Economic Covid-19 Compensation scheme by claiming lost revenue for fake companies. The court sentenced the man to three years and nine months in jail.
Reports to do not identify the man, but say he is in his 50s carried out the scam from Thailand. He would declare large sums of money from his fake businesses on the tax returns. The bogus companies were registered under his name and his wife’s name.
One of the fake companies was said to be a parking lot complex in Oslo. No such parking lot under his name existed and all of the mail for the fake business was forwarded to his address in Thailand. He claimed he lost money when concerts were cancelled due to restrictions during the pandemic.
The judicial writ from the Oslo District Court says he submitted a total of 17 compensation claims for cancelled events, all of which were not associated with him.
He attempted to get NOK 13 million (US$1.46 million) from the Arts Council Norway and NOK 6 million (US$675,00) from the Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority.
According to the police attorney at the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, the punishment, in this case, was severe because his intent carries the same weight as the actual offence.
“The Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority was the one that detected the exploitation and put a halt to the compensation. We believe that it was a mere coincidence that these applications weren’t approved and paid out.”
The verdict from the court heard the man attempted to take advantage of economic aid programs designed to help different cultures and businesses overcome a difficult economic situation, citing that general precautions must be taken when attempting to exploit this kind of application.
SOURCE: Scand Asia