A FORMER Public Works minister has been named as a suspect in an Andalucian benefit scam.
Magdalena Alvarez has been formally named in an ongoing investigation into the ERE fraud case which involved officials misusing unemployment benefits.
Judge Mercedes Alaya said the former Socialist official, who also served as economic and finance chief for the Junta de Andalucia under Prime Minister Zapatero, ‘laid down the rules’ of how the money was transferred from the regional budget to the unemployment fund.
“Now is the time to take a qualitative step in the investigation and determine the participation of other persons and their activities, which would have allowed the misuse of fund transfers, resulting in the waste of public funds,” said Alaya earlier today.
Alaya has also named 19 other current and former members of Andalucia’s Socialist party accused of misusing the fund.
The year-long investigation has already has already shown that up to €136 million of the benefit fund was embezzled between 2001 and 2010.
Alaya has discovered that hundreds of people, including family members of party officials, illegally received money from the fund.