Authorities trusted him, the man who allegedly gave hundreds of immigrants a new perspective. After all, he was also the father of a member of parliament for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the time.
But Selim Ö. (59) is said to have made a fortune out of the misery of others, cheating the state out of 6.1 million euros. The alleged XXL social fraudster has been in the dock at the Regional Court since Tuesday.
It took the public prosecutor a full three hours to read the indictment, which is more than 100 pages long: “The defendant is accused of 758 crimes in which social benefits amounting to 6.1 million euros were paid without justification under false pretences.33 further attempted frauds would not have been successful. But in the other cases, the defendant is said to have cashed most of the money.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the ploy worked like this: Selim Ö. got in touch with Bulgarian immigrants as the 1st chairman of the associations “Agency for Employment and Integration e.V.” and “Society for Family and Gender Mainstreaming e.V.”. In the years 2013 to 2016, he is said to have issued them fake employment contracts and helped them to establish pseudo self-employment.
At the beginning of the trial the public prosecutor presented case by case core data of employment contracts with migrants who were allegedly employed by the “Agency for Employment and Integration” or the “Society for Family and Gender Mainstreaming” during the period of the crime. In each case the public prosecutor listed the sums paid out to the migrants by the job centre – sometimes hundreds, often thousands of euros!
According to the prosecution’s investigations, Selim Ö. was aware that the immigrants were not entitled to financial assistance from the Job Centre.
In order to deceive the authorities, he is said to have pretended that the destitute women and men were employees in marginal employment. “In fact, no labour services were provided by the immigrants for the associations at all,” said the public prosecutor. The immigrants have therefore given untruthful information.
From 2013 to 2016, no one at the Job Centre noticed the serial fraud. At the start of the trial, the defendant remained silent. Another 36 days of trial are planned until June next year.