Norwegian man used 300 stolen identities as part of massive Covid compensation scam
A Norwegian man who went to extreme lengths to illegally milk the country’s Covid relief program has been nabbed by authorities, but only after he used hundreds of stolen identities as part of his massive fraud scheme.
The 35-year-old suspect has been accused of collecting around 10 million Norwegian krone ($1.1 million) in pandemic-related compensation from the country’s Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV). The benefits program is designed to help those who have been financially impacted by the health crisis.
According to media reports, the man used around 300 stolen identities from employees working at 11 different companies. He reportedly gave the ‘employees’ high incomes so that they could claim the maximum amount of wage compensation. In total, the suspect applied for around 17 million krone, but only received around half the amount before authorities became suspicious.
Norwegian police described the scam as one of the largest cases of Covid relief fraud to date. After receiving payments from NAV, it’s believed that the man funneled the cash into a money laundering network. So far police have recovered one million krone.
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The alleged scammer’s case will be heard before an Oslo court next month. The suspect has denied the charges.
Norway is far from the only country to suffer from Covid-related fraud. In March, the US Justice Department (DOJ) announced that it had charged 474 defendants with criminal offenses based on fraud schemes connected to the health crisis. In total, the suspects attempted to steal $569 million from the US government and unsuspecting Americans through fraud, the DOJ said in a statement.
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Source:RT World News