In the court of Almelo on Thursday, the public prosecutor demanded a four-year non-suspended prison sentence with credit for time served during Hans G.’s pretrial detention. The prosecutor also wants G. to repay the RUG for damages. ‘I deem [the suspect] responsible for the total financial loss for the sum of 1,145,799 euros,’ the prosecutor said.
Hans G., the former head of technical management at the university, is suspected of public corruption. According to an investigation by the FIOD, he is suspected of having accepted money and resources since 2008 from building companies in exchange for work at the university.
Last week, eight suspects appeared before the judge: Hans G., his wife Wijtske H., his son Michiel G., his former daughter-in-law Kasia S., installation business owners Jan J. and Marinus P., his assistant Margreet B. and self-employed businessperson Theun B.
The public prosecutor says that the fraud is wide ranging. The prosecution has demonstrated that there were two fake work positions. Hans G.’s son was on the payroll of two businesses with whom his father was friendly despite doing no work to speak of in their employ. The bill was footed by the RUG via fake invoices. In total, Michiel G. received 227,000 euros. ‘Have you ever heard of a student who lives on his own in an apartment and drives around in new, fancy cars despite not appearing to have a job? That is an extravagant lifestyle’, the official said.
The same arrangement was made for Hans G.’s former daughter-in-law. She received 94,000 euros over the course of four years. The official stated, ‘She is calculating. She didn’t have a problem with it. She was indifferent about it. Remorse always comes too late.’
According to the official, Hans and his compatriots ran a sophisticated operation. ‘They were cunning. They created a lot of fake documents, including fake assignments and a steady stream of fake invoices, which enabled them to conceal the fraud. Hans G. ruled over this small kingdom which also benefited his son, his girlfriend and his own spouse. In his work life and his private life, his lifestyle was thoroughly corrupted.’
The public prosecutor said that it was remarkable that all of the suspects see themselves as victims rather than culprits. ‘There seems to be limited comprehension of how reprehensible these practices were, which means that the likelihood that they will reoffend must be taken into consideration’, she informed the court.
Hans G.’s son and former daughter-in-law knowingly went along with the main suspect’s swindle year after year, according to the prosecutor. ‘They shamelessly used Hans G.’s position at the RUG and the power that he had to abuse that position for their benefit.’
Michiel G., the son of the primary suspect, was informed that a sentence of three years would be sought in his case, including one year on probation. His ex-girlfriend may face a sentence of two and a half years, including one probationary year. The business owners may face a sentence of up to three and a half years, including one year on probation.
Handyman Theun B. should be sentenced to a year and a half, including one year on probation. He worked under the table with materials which were charged to the RUG through Hans G. and the installation companies. He shared the profits with G. ‘He entered this arrangement with his own profit motive,’ according to the public prosecutor.
Head in the sand
Margreet B., Hans G.’s former colleague, deserves to serve a sentence of 18 months, including six months of probation. The public prosecutor stated that she played a crucial role in the fraud case. ‘She knew something was wrong from the get go.’
A decidedly short sentence was proposed for Hans G.’s wife: 150 hours of community service. If she fails to complete the sentence, she should be incarcerated for 75 days, according to the prosecutor. ‘She’s very much the ‘see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil’ type who just sticks her head in the sand, even though she knew on some level what was going on and that something was amiss with where all the cash was coming from.’
The date of the ruling is not yet known.