A pharmacist in France is under police investigation after being accused of embezzling €18million from the state by issuing fake invoices for Covid tests.
The 46-year-old was indicted and placed in pre-trial detention pending further investigation since December 2021. He is accused of declaring fake orders of tests to the Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie (Cpam).
As a pharmacist and head of several pharmacies across Paris, the man was legally entitled to supply antigen tests to health professionals.
But he now stands accused of making false order forms for reimbursement and for having falsely claimed to have sold millions of antigen tests.
He claimed to have sold 3,129,158 more tests than he actually had, reports Le Parisien.
He is suspected of embezzling €18million between September 14 and December 9, 2021, and risks being charged with "organised fraud", "organised money laundering" and "forgery and use of forgeries".
In addition, €800,000 in cash was discovered in one of his pharmacies.
The Paris Cpam raised the alarm when his actions sparked suspicion and made a formal complaint early last month. The case has now been passed to the police department the Brigade de répression de la délinquance astucieuse.
Another practitioner suspected of the same crime [of up to 4 million euros] was also placed in detention in December, but released early this month.
Investigations continue, and it is thought that the large-scale fraud could also implicate other pharmacists.