Fraud investigation hotline yields tips

Several tips have been provided by employees via a special hotline that was set up as part of the Hoffmann investigation into fraud committed by Hans G.

During a press conference on Monday, RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens said several calls have provided very relevant information.

Tips can be reported via the hotline anonymously, and Deekens confirms that multiple callers have shared details about other people who are involved or information that could further the investigation. ‘We are very happy to see that happening, because we have been encouraging people to do so’, Deekens says.

Not quite right

Although the Hoffmann investigation is taking somewhat longer than expected due to the FIOD investigation taking priority, RUG president Sibrand Poppema says that the tips have been coming in from sources both within and without the department in question.

‘The investigation is focused on the maintenance department, but there have been people from outside the department or former employees of the department who have witnessed things that they thought were not quite right’, Poppema says. The number of tips that have come in was not known.

Working relationship

The RUG has suspended or ended its working relationship with four people so far in connection to the various investigations. Two employees, one of whom was Hans G., were suspended per request of the Fiscal Intelligence and and Investigation Service (FIOD) investigation, and the other two per request of the internal investigation being conducted by Hoffmann. That includes two self-employed individuals who did work for the university.

‘These people play key roles in the administrative process, so it is better for them to remove them from that process so that the investigation can move forward’, Deekens says. ‘We have also ceased working with an installation company who was involved in the FIOD investigation’, says Deekens.

Deekens says that suspending an employee is the only legal step that the university can take while the investigations are ongoing. The RUG spokesperson also confirmed that the status means that it remains ‘theoretically possible’ for an employee to return to work eventually.