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Corona emergency aid - subsidy fraud and false affirmation in lieu of oath based on untruthful applications

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Many freelancers, solo self-employed and small business owners in NRW have the Corona Emergency Aid applied for and, after a short time, was pleased with the up to 9.000 Euro Subsidies can look forward to.

Now, however, many are in for a cold awakening. In a number of cases, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has now proven that these financial Subsidies from one or the other entrepreneur, solo self-employed and freelancer unauthorized in Claim have been taken. In these cases, the State of NRW the payments, claiming that there was an error. Fraud and lets the Prosecutor's Office investigate. 

Here, in this context, the concept of a special form of fraud, namely the Subsidy fraud.

What is subsidy fraud?

Criminal proceedings on the basis of subsidy fraud (§ 264 StGB) in connection with the unlawful use of Corona emergency aid.

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Filling out and submitting incorrect applications for subsidies for a company constitutes subsidy fraud. The suspicion of subsidy fraud pursuant to Section 264 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) and the associated initiation of preliminary proceedings can therefore only be avoided by providing completely correct information when applying for subsidies. Otherwise, you will be liable to prosecution under German law.

If, in the worst case, subsidy fraud can be proven in the context of the benefit of Corona emergency aid, this can be punished with a fine or a prison sentence of up to 5 years. In particularly serious cases, the prison sentence can even be up to 10 years.

However, even in the case of reckless commission of the offense, fines or up to 3 years imprisonment may be imposed on the subsidy fraud in connection with the unlawful use of Corona's emergency assistance.

Subsidy fraud in the context of the illegal use of the Corona emergency aid is thus no trivial offense! Many lawyers and institutions responsible for this in the country had already warned of this in the past. In many federal states, criminal proceedings have already been initiated by the public prosecutor's office in this connection.

The legal definition of subsidy fraud

§ 264 subsidy fraud:

"(1) A penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine shall be imposed on anyone who

  • 1. provides incorrect or incomplete information to an authority responsible for granting a subsidy or to another body or person involved in the subsidy procedure (subsidy provider) about facts relevant to the subsidy for himself or another person, which are advantageous to him or the other person,
  • 2. uses an object or monetary benefit, the use of which is restricted by legislation or by the subsidy provider with regard to a subsidy, contrary to the restriction on use,
  • 3. fails to inform the subsidy provider of facts relevant to the subsidy, contrary to the legal provisions governing the award of subsidies; or
  • 4. in a subsidy procedure, uses a certificate of eligibility for a subsidy or of facts relevant to the subsidy obtained by providing incorrect or incomplete information.

(2) In particularly serious cases, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a term of six months to ten years. As a rule, a particularly serious case exists if the offender

  • 1. for gross self-interest or by using counterfeit or falsified receipts, obtains for himself or another an unjustified subsidy of a large amount,
  • 2. abuses his or her authority or position as a public official or European public official; or
  • 3. takes advantage of the assistance of a public official or European public official who abuses his powers or position.

(3) Section 263 (5) shall apply mutatis mutandis

(4) In the cases referred to in paragraph 1, item 2, the attempt shall be punishable.

(5) Any person who acts recklessly in the cases referred to in paragraph 1, nos. 1 to 3, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.

(6) Pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (5), a person who voluntarily prevents the granting of the subsidy on the basis of the act shall not be punished. If the subsidy is not granted without the perpetrator's intervention, he shall be exempt from punishment if he voluntarily and seriously endeavors to prevent the granting of the subsidy.

(7) In addition to a term of imprisonment of at least one year for an offense under subsections (1) to (3), the court may deprive the person of the ability to hold public office and the ability to obtain rights from public elections (Section 45(2)). Objects to which the offense relates may be confiscated; Section 74a shall apply.

(8) Subsidy within the meaning of this provision is

  • 1. a benefit from public funds under federal or state law to establishments or undertakings which are at least in part
    • (a) is granted without market consideration; and
    • b) is intended to promote the economy;
  • 2. a benefit from public funds under the law of the European Union which is granted at least in part without market consideration.

An establishment or enterprise within the meaning of sentence 1 No. 1 shall also be a public enterprise.

(9) Facts shall be relevant to the subsidy within the meaning of paragraph (1),

  • 1. which are designated by law or on the basis of a law by the subsidy provider as relevant to the subsidy; or
  • 2. upon which the granting, award, recovery, continuation, or retention of a subsidy or subsidy benefit is conditioned by law or under the subsidy contract."

Have a lawyer represent and defend you in a timely manner

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Should you have a Subpoena from the Police have received, early professional advice and, above all, defense by an Lawyer urgently necessary! Especially in the area of Subsidy assistance there are a variety of possible mistakes that can be made that can quickly lead to criminal liability and thus by hiring a Lawyer can be effectively avoided.

This is because, under certain circumstances, even recklessly misstated circumstances can lead to full criminal liability.

You have received mail accusing you of subsidy fraud? But what now? What steps should you take now?

First of all, you should have a Lawyer to be represented by him for your benefit. Make no statement without your Lawyer! Accordingly, you should not comment on this case to the police or even give and fill out statements in the context of hearing forms and the like.

Because you have the Law to remain silent and this should be perceived by them. The accused Subsidy fraud within the framework of the illegal use the Corona Instant Aids This is because it must be possible for the authorities to provide clear evidence. Anyone who makes rash statements to the authorities risks, in the worst case, revealing even more than the authorities knew up to that point.

So hire a Lawyer with your Defense. After the latter has inspected the client's file and discussed the contents with the latter, your Lawyer which facts should be provided by you in the context of a statement.
Ignoring and doing nothing, by the way, leads in such a case, where the Prosecutor's Office investigated against you, only for you to be without legal assistance in a Criminal proceedings which can result in heavy fines and imprisonment.

I have been charged with grant fraud regarding the unlawful use of Corona Emergency Assistance grant funds. What is in store for me as a result?

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In principle, anyone who is accused by the Public Prosecutor's Office of subsidy fraud with regard to the unlawful use of the subsidies associated with the Corona Emergency Aid must reckon with the fact that, apart from the initiation of criminal proceedings pursuant to Section 264 of the Criminal Code, administrative proceedings, i.e. the demand for the withdrawal of the Corona Emergency Aid, will also be initiated against you.

Because from the accusation of an intention to defraud with regard to the subsidies, subsidies of the Corona emergency aid follows naturally also the reclaiming of the distributed means on the part of the state opposite the receiver of the Corona emergency aid. As a rule, the district government then initiates recovery proceedings against you, the recipient of Corona emergency aid, in accordance with §48 and §49a of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Learn more here...

If it should turn out in the context of these two procedures that you applied for and received the Corona emergency assistance wrongfully, you must count not only on criminal consequences up to imprisonment, but stand in the obligation the Corona emergency assistance in its entirety to repay and in the connection additionally on the part of the country North-Rhine/Westphalia to it in accordance with § 49 a exp. 3 of the VwVfG North-Rhine/Westphalia a refund amount of 5% over base interest rate p.a. after § 247 of the BGB over the full height of the received conveyances to repay. This means in the reverse conclusion, who drew these Corona emergency assistance conveyances of the state wrongfully, must answer criminally, the amount back-pay and retroactively also still the interest of these conveyances carry.

Therefore, anyone accused of Corona Soforthilfe subsidy fraud, rightly or wrongly, is well advised to seek advice and representation from a lawyer or law firm that can demonstrate expertise in this case. Because the stakes are high, the prosecution is investigating you, don't risk losing a criminal and administrative case against prosecution lawyers because you are representing yourself for cost reasons. In the worst case, this will cost you not only money, but even your freedom.

Contact us and let us represent you. We, the BAUMFALK law firm, have successfully defended many of these proceedings in the past in the interest of our clients and have brought about a discontinuation of the proceedings for them.

We have prepared a subsidy fraud allegation checklist regarding Corona Emergency Aid for all those affected by this matter. It is available for you to download free of charge.

What costs should I expect for representation by an attorney and the associated proceedings?

Of course, the legal representation by a lawyer costs you money, that is probably clear, but far higher costs come to you if you are not represented. In the worst case, this will cost you not only money, but also your freedom!

A defense in the preliminary proceedings, which ends with a discontinuation of the proceedings, costs defendants approximately 650, - EUR. However, if it is not possible to bring about a discontinuation in the course of the proceedings, but the public prosecutor's office brings charges against you, the accused must rely on
Set approx. 1200,- EUR total cost.

If an acquittal is effected in such a case, the costs for this are even borne by the state treasury. However, only in the case of an acquittal!

We are, of course, happy to assist affected parties nationwide with a defense. Simply contact us at or by telephone
under +49 (0)2273 - 40 68 504.

We are here for you nationwide in the event of a police hearing!

Then contact us

+49 (0) 2273 - 40 68 504

Law firm for criminal law in Kerpen, Cologne and Witten

Lawyer for - Labor Law | Criminal Law | IT Law | Data Protection