Fraud in figures

Results of OLAF’s work

As a result of the 3 500 investigations OLAF has completed since it was set up in 1999:

  • 335 individuals have received prison sentences totalling 900 years
  • over €1.1 billion of EU money has been recovered (excluding financial penalties)
  • on average OLAF has recovered €100 million a year.

Results for 2012:

  • €94.5 million recovered for the EU budget
  • EU Member State courts issued a cumulative 511 years of prison sentences – not including an additional 70 years of suspended sentences .

How much does OLAF cost EU tax payers?

  • OLAF's running costs for 2012 amount to €57.4 million
  • OLAF is also providing €21.5 million in grants and project funding to help authorities and organisations fight fraud both inside and outside the EU.

How many people are involved in fighting fraud in the EU?

  • EU countries manage 80% of EU funds and have primary responsibility for fighting fraud. They employ most of those involved in this fight for example 500 000 police officers.
  • OLAF has 435 staff – of which more than two-thirds work on fraud investigations.

What is OLAF's case load?

  • OLAF had 716 ongoing cases at the end of 2012, out of which 515 were investigation cases and 201 were coordination cases.
  • OLAF opened 718 new cases and closed 465 cases in 2012.
  • Average length of an investigation was 17.3 months in 2012.
  • Average length of the selection of cases was 1.4 months in 2012.

How much fraud is committed in the EU?

EU countries reported:

Expenditure

  • irregularities reported as fraudulent costing €315 million (0.25% of total EU expenditure) in 2012 –  compared with €295 million (0.21%) in 2011
  • irregularities not reported as fraudulent costing €2.6 billion (2.06% of total EU expenditure) in 2012 –  compared with €1.2 billion (0.86% of total EU expenditure) in 2011

Revenue

  • irregularities reported as fraudulent involving €77.6 million (0.42% of the gross amount of traditional own resources collected) for 2012 compared with €109 million (1.24%) for 2011
  • irregularities not reported as fraudulent involving €370 million (1.69% of the gross amount of traditional own resources collected) for 2012 compared with €278 million (1.24%) for 2011

Financial corrections and recovery

  • Financial corrections for more than €3.7 billion and recoveries for €678 million were implemented in 2012 compared with €1.1 billion and €733 million respectively in 2011.
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Last update: 02/06/2014