EU prosecutor tackles fraud by Croatian farmer

The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) has filed a complaint with a court in Zagreb against a Croatian farmer for fraud with European agricultural subsidies and forgery of documents.

According to the evidence, the suspect has submitted two grant applications in the name of his daughter in recent years. The EU subsidy was aimed at activating young farmers. The applications for both requests appeared to be signed by his daughter, who was registered as the official holder of the family farm. 

However, the EPPO investigation revealed that she had left Croatia at the time the requests were made and was no longer involved in the activities of the family business.

Because the suspect's daughter had the status of 'young farmer', the applications would have led to an additional subsidy of € 121,764. The aim of the grants was to support investments in agricultural businesses, and was co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) from EU to 85%.

The Croatian Criminal Code provides for a possible penalty of up to ten years in prison for subsidy fraud, and up to three years in prison for falsifying documents.

The EPPO is the independent public prosecutor of the European Union. It is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU.