Prosecutor examines report on possible embezzlement of European funds by Le Pen
The French prosecutor’s office is studying a report by the European Union’s anti-fraud agency accusing Marine Le Pen of embezzlement of European funds. The public prosecutor confirmed this after reporting in the French media.
Prosecutors received a report from the Anti-Fraud Office OLAF on March 11. The Mediapart news site reported yesterday for the first time the existence of the report. He would say that during her tenure as an MEP, between 2004 and 2017, Le Pen embezzled 140,000 euros of EU funds and, together with party members, spent a total of 617,000 euros inappropriately.
Le Pen and members of his party are not accused of enriching themselves, but of using the money for activities not directly related to Europe, such as paying for their own staff and their own events. For example, she reportedly spent $23,000 on promotional materials for her own party and over $4,000 on bottles of wine for a party get-together.
Le Pen denies
Le Pen says through her lawyer that she knows nothing about some of the facts in the report. The other activities mentioned in the report were well intended for her work as an MEP, specifies her lawyer.
The president of Le Pen’s National Rally, Jordan Bardella, accuses European interference in the French elections. “The French will not be fooled by the European Union’s attempts to influence the presidential election and harm Marine Le Pen,” he told Europe 1 radio.
Le Pen and current President Emmanuel Macron are engaged in a fierce battle for the presidency. At first, Macron seemed poised to win the election quite easily, but voter concerns about rapidly declining purchasing power led to first round of elections also voted heavily for Le Pen. The second decisive ballot will take place on April 24, during which a choice will have to be made between Macron and Le Pen.
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