According to a recent report from French news website Mediapart, the European Union’s anti-fraud commission has implicated French far-right politician Marine Le Pen and allies with misappropriating about 600,000 euros throughout their tenure as MEPs. The claims have surfaced a little over a week prior to Le Pen facing President Emmanuel Macron in the final round of the presidential election. On Saturday, her attorney, Rodolphe Bosselut, disputed the allegations, citing questions about the report’s “timing.” OLAF’s recent research investigating the costs that political groupings can undertake as part of their role as MEPs was excerpted by Mediapart.
According to OLAF, Le Pen as well as her associates had utilized the embezzled money for domestic party goals, private costs, or activities that benefited commercial enterprises affiliated with her National Rally party and the far-right parliamentary faction, Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF). Le Pen, her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, her ex-spouse Louis Aliot, and erstwhile far-right MEP Bruno Gollnisch are all named in the report as implicated members of the European parliament. The four are accused of embezzling roughly 600,000 euros ($650,000), which the body suggests they reimburse swiftly.
As per the investigation, from 2004 to 2017, Le Pen had misappropriated approximately 137,000 euros ($150,000) in public funds from the Strasbourg legislature while serving as an MEP. According to Bosselut, the OLAF inquiry began in 2016, and Le Pen was interrogated in writing by mail in March 2021. In addition to this public funds misappropriation, Le Pen has also been under inquiry from authorities for allegedly providing bogus positions as aides in the European Parliament to the people of her party.