The European Parliament said on Sunday it would try to recover money owed by Marine Le Pen over allegations of fraud as the far-right leader prepares to face President Emmanuel Macron in an unpredictable second round in France .
French news platform Mediapart revealed that a report by OLAF, the EU’s anti-fraud body, accused Le Pen and three other former MEPs, including his father Jean-Marie, of embezzling funds of the European Parliament.
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The report also alleged that Le Pen personally embezzled around 137,000 euros ($148,000) of public money from the Strasbourg-based parliament during her tenure as an MEP between 2004 and 2017.
A source said the European Parliament referred the case to OLAF after discovering some of the alleged irregularities.
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“In total, we are talking about 617,000 euros unduly paid. We will now recover (money) from those concerned in the coming weeks,” added the source.
The OLAF investigation has been open since 2016 and Ms. Le Pen was questioned by mail in March 2021, her lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut told AFP.
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Le Pen has been the subject of another investigation since 2017 on suspicion of employing fictitious party aides in the European Parliament.
The impending action against the leader of the National Rally comes as polls give her a strong chance of beating Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on April 24.