Fourteen people were in police custody Wednesday night as part of two investigations launched in Paris on suspicion of embezzlement of the personal training account (CPF), according to Paris prosecutors, confirming information from Le Monde and Le Parisien.
These ten men and four women, aged between 20 and 50, are suspected of being involved in two possibly related networks that had fraudulently received funds from the Caisse des dépôts (CDC) for a total of damage since 2021 thanks to fictitious training companies estimated at around 8.2 million euros.
Thirteen people were arrested in the Paris region and one in Toulouse.
The Personal Training Account (CPF), which has existed since January 1, 2019, enables every active person to purchase training rights in euros via an online platform and no longer in hours. It is the Caisse des dépôts (CDC) that directly pays the training companies, which are sometimes empty shells trying to siphon off public funds.
In order to obtain the CPFs, the suspects would have resorted to phishing, particularly via phone or SMS approaches, to obtain personally identifiable information from employees, as well as from a few thousand complacent trainees who signed up for non-conducted training for a fee had , in cash or in the form of gifts.
The investigators are also targeting a certification body.
The investigations relate to organized gang fraud, organized money laundering, counterfeiting and the use of counterfeits, and criminal organizations.
The funds collected went in particular to accounts abroad, such as the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Hungary, the United Kingdom or Portugal.
In total, the judiciary seized 1.6 million euros at this stage and blocked more than 500,000 euros, which were paid to the CDC.
One of the two investigations was opened in May at the specialized interregional judiciary (JIRS) of Paris, entrusted to the gendarmes of the research department of Versailles. The other is a judicial inquiry opened on June 23, after a few months of preliminary investigation, and entrusted to the gendarmes of the Grasse research brigade (Alpes-Maritimes), where a complaint had been lodged. In both cases, the Central Criminal Intelligence Service (SCRC) is involved.