Greek Businesses Who Got COVID-19 Relief Loans Cheated on Taxes

Αssociated Press

A bartender wearing a protective face mask prepares a drink as people sitting outdoor are reflected on a window of Lola cafe-bar in Petralona, district of Athens, Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Greek tax authorities are investigating businesses that reported a giant drop in income during COVID-19 lockdowns and who got cheap government loans to sustain themselves, inspectors checking for false data that would avoid taxes.

The Finance Ministry said if violations are found with fake or inaccurate data reflecting inaccurate income that follow-up probes will be made and financial crime prosecutors notified, said Kathimerini.

Auditors had found several cases of massive fraud, with some businesses falsifying their income and data so they could show lesser revenues so they wouldn't pay taxes – but then adjusting it 1000 times higher to get a state loan, which led them now face court over it.