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Public prosecutor's office in North Rhine-Westphalia investigates thousands of cases of fraud with Corona aid

The public prosecutor's office in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is investigating thousands of cases of fraud with Corona aid, as reported by Spiegel. The authority is currently investigating "4203 cases of subsidy fraud in connection with the corona pandemic", as stated in the report by Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU). The actual number of cases could be even higher; the individual law enforcement authorities on the Rhine and Ruhr have even reported more than 5,200 preliminary investigations, most of them in Cologne. This means that around one percent of all around 430,000 approved applications in North Rhine-Westphalia would be a possible fraud.

The suspects have seized unauthorized financial aid in various ways: On the one hand, it is about money laundering, that is, the accused have given false information in their applications; For example, whether the business was carried out as a main occupation or whether economic difficulties existed before March 1, 2020. On the other hand, fraudsters have probably tapped data from real companies with fake websites in order to apply for regular Corona emergency aid themselves. In total, the damage amounted to more than 30.1 million euros.

So far, NRW has disbursed emergency aid amounting to around 4.5 billion euros. Companies with up to five employees would have allowed up to 9,000 euros, companies with up to ten employees up to 15,000 euros. Companies with up to 50 employees should receive up to 25,000 euros.

Cartel Office has concerns about the takeover of Real branches

The Cartel Office (BKA) has some stomach aches with the planned takeover of the 101 branches of the supermarket chain Real, which belong to SCP, by the much larger competitor Kaufland. The authority sees "a significant impediment to effective competition in nine regional sales markets due to the acquisition of the Real locations there by the Schwarz Group," as the press release says. The authority also has concerns about the project in the area of ​​procurement. The BKA is now negotiating with the companies SCP and Kaufland about possible solutions, the deadline for the decision has been postponed to December 30, 2020.

Kaufland is part of the Schwarz Group, which is the largest food retailer in Europe with a turnover of around 113.3 billion euros. Sistema Capital Partners (SCP) is a subsidiary of the Russian group Sistema, which bought all of Real's locations from Metro.

Santander buys Wirecard's core business

The scandalous company Wirecard will continue to be filleted. The major Spanish bank Santander wants to take over the European core business of the financial services provider for 100 million euros, as reported by Spiegel. Santander wants to take over 500 of the total of 600 employees in the area, as they say. “We were able to successfully complete the investor process for Wirecard's core business despite the most unfavorable conditions,” explained Wirecard's insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé. Overall, Jaffé is said to have sold parts of the crisis-ridden group for 500 million euros, including the Wirecard subsidiaries in Brazil, Romania and the USA. Wirecard still has debts of 3.2 billion euros.