An embezzlement scandal is unfolding around Bucharest’s major psychiatric facility, Obregia Hospital. Police are investigating potential fraud via building and repair contracts at the hospital. Local fraud squad officers have conducted searches at seven addresses in Bucharest and Ilfov county, according to the local press.
The cases concern procurement of construction and repair work at the hospital on the south side of Bucharest and a figure of RON 5.2 million (some EUR 1.2 million) was given for the amount under question, with most of the damage for the hospital, and some EUR 300,000 to the state budget. Former hospital director George Marcu is reportedly under investigation.
Police are investigating seven people on suspicion of offences relating to public procurement. “Members of the group are believed to have received financial benefits from obtaining procurement contracts from a hospital unit in Bucharest for the carrying out of repairs and construction,” said the Bucharest police in a statement.
The evidence of wrongdoing appears to have emerged over the last few years after George Marcu stepped down. He is now in charge of the National Housing Agency (ANL). On taking up the position in 2009, new hospital chief Monica Boer found some EUR 4.5 million in blank invoices. The fraud seems to have been carried out using fictitious contracts with third parties and inflated bills for costs and expenses.