Six people from the same family suspected of embezzling aid intended for foster children

Six members of Roof Lak, all from the same family, were placed in police custody for embezzlement of 1.2 million euros. Amounts paid by the Upper Pyrenees Provincial Council for the care of children and adolescents in Generist and Ennere.

Couples, uncles, aunts, father, mother-in-law… We think of the “seven families” but it’s not a game for the gendarmes in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. All of them are members of the office of the association “Un roof pour toi”, based in Genest and Ennere in the Haute-Pyrenees region. They were in police custody on 14 June after a hard but fruitful two-year investigation.

The result: 1.2 million euros out of limbo. It could have been transferred from 2015, when the association was created, to 2020 in the interest of the family in the form of real estate purchases, exorbitant salaries and cars. And buying a sports car is what puts the chip in management’s ear.

On the association’s website, the department board logo prominently displayed, like a declaration of intent, does not mean anything about these embezzlement. It reads: “IThe “Our Place of Our Lives” project aims to help young people who are “in difficulty”, even in the case of “great difficulty” to reintegrate into society: this assistance ranges from mental and physical “fitness” to education, re-study or preparation for a career”.

A facade that transcends Michel Belleau, the CEO, the victim of the scam, just like children. “We filed a complaint in February 2021 for a breach of trust. Our employees did not have access to the financial aspects of running the association. They made sure there was no problem welcoming kids. It was the auditor who sounded the alarm.”

When he found out that salaries had risen from 1,000 to more than 10,000 euros, vehicles were bought by the association and resold, for example, to the couple who managed them, not to mention managing the porous accounts, Michel Belleau was indignant and indignant.

It is unacceptable and scandalous that these young people, who give themselves a very advanced social dimension by calling their association “Your Roof”, take advantage of the plight of these young people.he regrets. We will seek compensation for the damage caused to us.“.

The couple who run the association and their family members have been able to return to their positions within the temple because there is nothing to be taken against them towards the children. “If that is the case, we will close the establishment immediately.”Natalie Osaibat, general manager of district council services, replied.

However, the directors of the association realized that they were able to get supermarkets from the unsold sector to feed these young people. Surprise when you know that they benefit from 4,500 euros per month and for each young person that is accommodated, the amount can be increased when children and teenagers come from other departments. But this practice is not prohibited.

the problemConfirms Natalie Acepat, It is that many things are permissible. Several board members can be from the same family, for example. These structures can also pay salaries of up to 14.5 times minimum wage without being illegal. The Social Work and Families Act doesn’t prohibit it so we can’t act“.

Added to this is the fact that board employees focus on their mission: looking after the youth and not running the enterprises, fraud can thrive. But the department board decided to change the organization to have stricter administrative control. “We will be especially vigilant and put a person whose primary activity is on the watch.confirms Michael Bellio.

As for the Jennerst case, it has mobilized very large resources. “Investigations continued under the supervision of Petty Officer David AExplains Paul Sandevoire, commander of the gendarmerie company Bagnères-de-Bigorre. He was supported in his research by the GIRG (Groups of Regional Gendarmerie) in Toulouse, a multidisciplinary unit that assists investigators with complex procedures.

Other specialists called:An expert in land appraisal near the Court of Appeal of Bao and two soldiers of the Mu (77) Research Brigade reinforced the work of the 24th Gendarmerie of the Superior Gendarmerie Group – Pyrenees “, The Gendarmerie Commander continues, before concluding: The coercive measures and searches carried out made it possible to support the hypotheses formulated during the investigation. Seizures related to real estate, cars and financial products exceeded one million euros“.

The case is now in the hands of the courts. It will determine the responsibility of each individual and the necessary convictions. Outside of this concrete case, one can question the financial security this activity generates and the ease with which it can be transformed. What if union managers stay under the radar…if they don’t let themselves be tempted to buy a sports car?

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