The former chief of a national police union has been sentenced to community work fined €12,000 for using union money to pay his wife for unnecessary services.
Gert Cockx, the former chairman of the NSPV/SNPS police union, was handed 150 hours of community service for using union money to pay his wife, who had no permanent employment at the time.
In a previous ruling, 55-year-old Cockx and his wife had both received a suspended prison sentence of 18 and 12 months, but they appealed the decision, which resulted in a lighter sentence.
The court said that it was “clear” that the former union chief wanted his wife to “have an income through the NSPV,” despite saying her services to the union were not necessary.
During the time he served as president of the union, Cockx’s wife set herself up as a commercial provider to organise a New Year’s Eve event for the union.
Her businesses earned her a 10% commission fee and was registered at their 80-year-old neighbour’s address to avoid any potential links with Cockx.
“It is not credible that an external provider was needed to organise the reception, logo, gadgets and the event at the hotel,” the court said, HLN reports. “These matters could be perfectly arranged by someone within the NSPV.”
In order to prevent her wife’s services to be traced back to Cockx, the pay to his wife was also arranged via several companies and organisations affiliated with the union.
The pair have denied the charges since the start of the proceedings and had originally appealed the initial sentence looking to be completely acquitted.
The court also ordered them to pay damages of nearly €24,00 to the union.