Fraud at study association Economics: former board member forced to repay 3400 euros

20 Feb 2024

Last year, over 3400 euros were embezzled from the account of study association ESV by the treasurer at the time. This came to light from internal documents, as witnessed by Vox. The treasurer was disbarred and has now agreed on a settlement with ESV.

The fraud was discovered through an extra audit at the Economische Studenten Vereniging (ESV), which was performed at the request of the current board. The association’s members were informed of the discovery and its resolution by letter earlier this week.

Said letter stated that an amount of more than 3400 euros was siphoned off in the fiscal year 2022-2023 by the treasurer at the time. Most of that amount consisted of personal withdrawals that were kept off the books. The remainder, roughly 1100 euros, vanished through private purchases which were written down with false descriptions. Additionally, the association missed a lot of income through repeated failures to send direct debits for activities, as claimed in the message.


The letter goes on to mention that the board talked with the former board member. Initially, it was unclear what exactly happened to the money; the person later admitted to fraud and pocketing the money themselves.

Further investigation by the board proved that the embezzlement went unnoticed at the audits of the year in question. This happened because the former board member left several bank statements out of the information package submitted to the audit committee.

ESV has arranged with the former treasurer that the entire sum will be repaid in five monthly instalments. He will also have to hold himself accountable at the general members assembly.

No legal action

If all the arrangements are upheld, the association will refrain from taking legal action, as stated in the letter. ESV did expel the former treasurer from the association.

The nature of the cooperation between the audit committee and the treasurer is a point of discussion within the association, to prevent further cases of fraud. The letter mentions random audits as a possible solution.

The ESV board declined to comment on the matter. Likewise, the former treasurer accused of fraud did not reply.

Update Monday, February 26th: An earlier version of this article stated that there were no audits in the year the fraud was committed. However, it turned out later that those audits did take place, but that they did not reveal the fraud.

Translated by Jasper Pesch

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