A 35-year-old building contractor from Lucerne has to go to jail for wrongly drawing a Covid 19 loan of CHF 110,000. The criminal court sentenced him on Wednesday for fraud and thus issued a judgment with a signal effect.
The man had submitted a Covid emergency aid form to the commercial bank of his dry construction company in March 2020. According to his information, he feared a construction freeze as a result of the pandemic at this time. The loan application was a precautionary measure.
The public prosecutor, however, saw it as proven that he applied for the money with fraudulent intent and that he had also misused it. The company was not financially threatened because of the pandemic. When he received the money a week after submitting the application, he also granted his indebted father a loan of 15,000 francs.
The prosecution demanded 20 months in prison and five years expulsion for the Kosovar with multiple criminal records. The defense attorney pleaded for acquittal. The bank should have checked the details before sending him the money, he argued.
The criminal court found the defendants guilty of fraud and forgery. He was sentenced to two years and two months in prison and served ten months.
The verdict was harsher than required by the prosecutor. The judge justified this with the fact that the man had taken advantage of an emergency in society to enrich himself. He acted fraudulently. It was known that the banks should pay out the money in an uncomplicated way and without further checking.
The court refrained from expelling the country. For this, it imposed a five-year ban on activity. The verdict is not yet legally binding. Around 70 similar cases are pending in the canton of Lucerne alone. The judgment is the first of its kind in German-speaking Switzerland.