Hautes-Pyrenees: Six members of an association of adopted children suspected of embezzlement of more than one million euros

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Six people from the same family, members of the association specialized in the reception of children established by ASE “A Roof for you” in Générest, are suspected of embezzling more than one million euros in aid. Pyrenees.

Two years of investigations, a file more than 70 cm thick, and more than one million euros in criminal assets confiscated by the gendarmes of Bagnères-de-Bigorre. On June 14, six members of the same family and the office of the association specialized in the care of children deposited by the Social Assistance for Childhood (ASE) “Roof of Yours”, were established in Generist and Ennere in the Haute-Pyrenees region, were arrested and placed in police custody.

Suspected of dishonesty, fraud, aggravated tax evasion and money laundering, the lead couple and their relatives set up a system of Leading the Way, by diverting part of the assistance earmarked by the Haute-Pyrenees County Council for foster care children. And this for several years.

“This association in 1901 is financed exclusively by public funds, in particular those granted by the Hai-Pyrenees County Council. Bagnères-de-Bigorre Commander Paul Sandevoir said, “The auditor’s control in 2020 revealed excessive purchases incompatible with purpose of the association.
“Alert, the public prosecutor seized the gendarmerie of Saint-Laurent-de-Neste and asked for a full judicial investigation. At the same time, the provincial council, victim of the disorderly management of the association, filed a complaint. »

And to salute the tenacity of the Director of Investigation, Petty Officer David A. From the General Saint-Laurent de Neste who, with the support of the Interregional Gendarmerie Group of Toulouse (GIRG), worked to untie the accountant’s knot bag. Link to suspicious expenses.

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The headquarters of the “Roof for You” association in Generist
Gendarmerie photos 65

Generist Created Independent Living Place (LVA) in 2014 “Roof for You” advocates the well-being and psychological reconstruction of foster children. On the website of the association, which employs several employees who have been completely acquitted in the case, we can read all the goodwill of the main couple regarding the children in difficulty.

“Our living space suggests accommodating six teenagers ranging in age from seven to twenty-one in single rooms. We love this image of protecting the ‘roof’, a welcome young man needs to feel safe in order to settle down and be able to rebuild himself internally. If initial investigation shows that The children were not subjected to any physical or psychological abuse, great savings were made by the association, particularly by “arranging with the tax system”, and by utilizing various in-kind donations.

“They collected unsold food from the supermarket, for example,” the gendarmes said, without going into details of the investigation. However, in order to cover expenses related to pension, accommodation, care, education … the Board of Directors pays a monthly envelope of about 4,500 euros for each child placed inside the structure. Subsequently, the realized savings were passed on to family members in the form of bonuses, as well as comfortable salaries. »

In addition, many vehicles were purchased by the association under the pretext of transporting children to their medical or other appointments. The latter was rarely happy to climb into the Mégane Sport or other racing cars, as the couple preferred to use taxi companies to drive their residents.

Investigation continues

The stops and searches that were made helped support the hypotheses formulated during the investigation. Seizures related to real estate, dozens of vehicles and financial products exceeded one million euros. »

Good catch for the gendarmerie that has amassed a lot of resources for two years in this sprawling dossier. “A property appraisal expert located near the Court of Appeal of Pau, six personnel from the GIRG in Toulouse, and two soldiers from the Research Brigade in Mou (77), reinforced the work of the twenty-four Gendarmerie Hautes-Pyrenees group.”

If part of the goods acquired are seized, some remain nonetheless to enjoy the structure. In fact, at a time when the departments are suffering from a severe shortage of places to shelter children in care, the judge investigating the case has made the decision to keep the “roof of yours” in operation.

The couple and their relatives were released after 48 hours in police custody. On the other hand, the preliminary investigation continues in order to determine the degree of responsibility of each party in this case.

Michel Belleau, Head of the Department Board, wants to shed all light on this issue

Michel Belleau, Head of the Department Board, wants to shed all light on this issue
NR Archives – LAURENT DARD

‘We will be more vigilant’

“Roof for you? cap them yes! Furious, the head of the county council, Michel Belleau, does not utter his words towards the interrogators. As of 2020, their extravagant lifestyle has attracted suspicions about Childhood Social Assistance (ASE) services.

“However, the 2020 budget presented by the association was fully compliant, and there was no evidence to confirm a potential defect at that time. Only, the agents of the ASE continue to pay close attention to the work of the structure, until several accounting anomalies appear.

Ask about accounts

“The Hautes-Pyrénées Provincial Council filed a complaint on February 16, 2021 for breach of trust. We have worked closely with the police and will continue in this direction, until the light is shed on this issue,” confirms Michel Belleau, who does not hide his discontent and indignation.

“Justice will assess the guilt of the members of this assembly. If the facts for which they are being prosecuted are confirmed, the administration will of course demand compensation for the damage. In addition, the services of the Chamber will have to redouble their vigil in the future.

Disproportionate packages?

“It is unacceptable to see people enriching themselves on the misfortune of others. Unfortunately, there is an increase in this kind of action on the national territory. This forces us to be more vigilant than ever.” If the Hautes-Pyrenees County Council paid a flat rate 152 euros per day per child has been set up to cover care, education, food and travel expenses… Michel Belleau believes it is time to review these amounts.

Child Protection Act obligates us to do this. But personally, I find these packages disproportionate to the assistance paid for the independence of the elderly, 60 euros / day on average. Social distancing, I don’t doubt it, and it’s normal for people to live off their job of receiving children with great difficulty. But misusing the trust we have in them, is impossible. »

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