Man convicted for fraudulently claiming massive Covid loan

Many people have struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic © Keystone / Christian Beutler

A 48-year-old businessman in Geneva has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence for making a fraudulent claim for a Covid loan that was 100 times the correct amount. He was found guilty of fraud and forgery of documents.

This content was published on October 22, 2022 - 13:49

“You expressly deceived the authorities in connection with the coronavirus pandemic,” the judge at Geneva Criminal Court said on Friday. “Your motive, the desire for profit, is selfish.”

The court set the probation period at five years. The man admitted to the acts, according to the court, but played down his responsibility.

In spring 2020 the operator of a hairdressing salon filled in the form for credit applications so the business could survive the crisis. He then declared a turnover of CHF4.7 million ($4.7 million) – 100 times more than in reality.

“I made a mistake,” explained the Italo-Macedonian, who came to Switzerland at the age of 14 without being able to complete compulsory schooling. “I don’t know anything about computers,” he argued.

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