The lifeless body of Ariane Ruffelart, financial director for the Tournai CPAS, was discovered in Tournai on Saturday. Suspected of embezzling large amounts of money from the institution, it is thought she committed suicide. Her office is responsible for public social service activities. Even though the court case has closed, the Mons Prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation to find out whether the deceased was really responsible, a well-informed source has said.
Ariane Ruffelart hung herself at her home in Tournai early on Saturday. “No evidence was found that indicates a third party was responsible for her death, so the deceased appears to have committed suicide”, the Prosecutor’s office said.
An open investigation was launched by Mrs Pichveque, a financial investigating judge in Mons, on Friday. She will be looking into embezzling at the Tournai CPAS. According to the Mons Prosecutor’s office, the litigation period being investigated is 15 to 20 years.
A non-official source claims as much as 2 million euros could have been embezzled. Mrs Ruffelart was told about the investigation the day it started. “This kind of financial investigation takes a long time. There is no plan to contact the press for several weeks. Circumstances have decided otherwise”, says Christian Henry, King’s Prosecutor for the Tournai-Mons judicial district.
“This investigation has only just started. There will be no comment yet as there is still a lot to look into”, the Prosecutor’s office said in a press release.
Mrs Ruffelart was called into a special meeting with the Tournai Social Aid Council to explain herself. The CPAS’ financial director was suspended at the end of the meeting.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)