Social Security fraud: Ali J. denies being the “mastermind”
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    Social Security fraud: Ali J. denies being the “mastermind”

    Ali J., considered to be the instigator of a social security fraud system, denied being the “mastermind” behind it before the Brussels Criminal Court on Thursday. Fifteen people are accused in the so-called “cachalot” (whale) case relating to a substantial social security fraud. They are being prosecuted for having created, between 2006 and 2011, shellcompanies and then sold fake C4 forms to thousands of people who would then use them to claim unemployment benefit. The damage incurred to the Social Security National Office (ONSS) is estimated at a little over ten million euros. “I was simply the middleman between clients and suppliers of payslips and social documents. I was not the ‘’mastermind’’ behind all this,” replied Ali J. to the presiding judge who highlighted that all leads in the investigation were pointing to him.

    “I sold companies, yes, but I was not the owner of these companies,” said the accuses.

    He was questioned again on Thursday morning regarding the attempted bribery of a social inspector who had previously audited the companies involved in the fraud. The defendant denied the allegations.

    Fifteen people are accused of having created shell companies and declared employees who would then receive employment contracts, pay slips and C4 forms in exchange for a payment of between fifty and one hundred euros. These fake employees, nearly 3,000 people, have received unemployment benefits, social benefits and holiday pay although they were not working and had not worked.

    The hearing continued on Thursday afternoon.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)