NEWS

Accountants in IKA scam

Three accountants are to be charged with helping various businessmen swindle Greece’s main social security fund, IKA, out of millions of euros, police said yesterday. Officers from the electronics crime squad tracked down a 44-year-old accountant based in the wealthy northern Athens suburb of Ekali, who is alleged to have masterminded the scam, and two of his colleagues, aged 47 and 33, after analyzing the tax details submitted online for a construction firm that declared bankruptcy on January 30. It is alleged that the three set up the firm with the specific aim of declaring its bankruptcy. In Greece, companies that go bankrupt do not have to pay social security contributions. The three then made arrangements with owners of other businesses to put 197 employees on the books of the construction firm, so the other entrepreneurs would not have to pay IKA on their behalf. Police said the scam led to the state losing out on 411,000 euros in earnings this year alone. Officers suspect it is not the first time they have carried out such a scam.