The Anticor anti-corruption association has requested the expansion of the investigations in the AGS case, suspecting embezzlement of public property of at least fifteen billion euros to the detriment of this scheme which guarantees wage claims in failing companies, Anticor's attorney said Wednesday. In its civil party application sent to the Paris court on Tuesday, Anticor denounced “a fraudulent system”, in which certain legal representatives were able to take advantage of a “lack of control” of the AGS to embezzle funds.
Judicial information is already underway in Paris, after complaints against X filed in 2019 by the Association for the management of the employee debt guarantee scheme (AGS, employers' organization), the Unédic AGS delegation (DUA), the Medef and the Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (CPME) for corruption, breach of trust and illegal taking of interests. Anticor wants the investigating judge to also be seized for embezzlement of public property: it estimates that the damage suffered by the AGS between 2009 and 2022 is more than 15 billion euros.
Created in 1974, the AGS acts as a shock absorber. In the event of a company's difficulties (recovery, liquidation, etc.), this scheme, funded by compulsory employer contributions, grants advances to settle the sums due to employees, through legal representatives. Then the AGS is reimbursed – generally partially – if the recovery plan or the sale of the assets in the event of liquidation allows it. Anticor suspects embezzlement during the various stages of the process.
On the one hand, before 2019, legal representatives could request advance payments without the AGS verifying whether the defaulting company really needed them, according to Anticor. Since then, a control has been put in place and many requests refused (for more than 55 million euros in advances since October 2020, according to Anticor). “These requests for unjustified advances, on presentation of false elements (…) characterize the offense of embezzlement of property”, considers Anticor.
On the other hand, once the requests for advances have been approved, the association "is certain that part of the funds, which must be paid to the employees, will not reach them", explained Me Jérôme Karsenti, the lawyer of the association, which accuses certain agents of having embezzled at least 700 million euros. Another suspected method: non-reimbursement of AGS.
Defaulting companies must hand over their available assets to the receivers in order to repay the AGS. But Anticor suspects agents of issuing "false certificates of irrecoverability" to keep "in their pocket" the proceeds of the sale of assets. Finally, Anticor denounces the old principle of “labelling”. These labels, awarded "with a wet finger", allowed many studies to see their costs advanced without "real control", according to Me Karsenti. In 2019, the new director of the AGS Houria Aouimeur-Milano denounced in court practices attributed to the former management team of the AGS and the DUA, leading to the opening of a judicial investigation.
But since 2022, Houria Aouimeur-Milano has herself been the target of a succession of audits, ordered in particular by Unédic, which accuses her of having violated the rules of the public procurement code, insufficiently protecting AGS data. or led an "excessive" lifestyle. She was fired last March. His lawyer Stéphanie Lamy said he had asked for "his reinstatement within the AGS as a whistleblower". This file, in summary, must be pleaded on June 5 to the prud'hommes of Paris.