French influencer PA7 in prison accused of embezzling 5.8 million euros in state aid

The 24-year-old has set up a vast scam via his social networks, thus recovering millions of euros from the French solidarity fund.

Photos in palaces all over the world, in front of luxury cars, or with white lions, Paul Antony’s daily life is synonymous with opulence. Followed by 50,000 subscribers on Snapchat and 13,000 on Instagram, the 24-year-old calls himself “PA7»On social networks. But for a month, the influencer no longer shares any content, a mystery detected by our colleagues from Parisian.

Paul Antony, residing in Dubai, was arrested when he got off the plane bringing him back from the United Arab Emirates on August 25. In question, a misappropriation of at least 5.8 million euros from the solidarity fund of the French State. This system was put in place last May, in order to help companies whose activity has been severely affected by the health crisis. Indicted for “organized gang scam and attempted fraud” and “money laundering in an organized group and improper collection of social benefits“, The influencer is currently in pre-trial detention at Fresnes prison, in Val-de-Marne.

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Let’s go for the show

The scam was extremely well put together, starting with the staging of Paul Antony on his networks to convince autoentrepreneurs and company managers to use his services. In a video, he claims: “Covid aid, 4,500 euros to be taken in 48 hours. Who will spit on 4,500 euros? Before, it was 10,000 but it’s better than nothing. France you suffer, it’s hard in France, I see people how they suffer, it’s hard, all companies are closing. (…) You send a message on WhatsApp, we answer your questions, we put together your file. It’s square. Let’s go for the show.

The young man left a few photos on his Instagram account, showing off his glitzy life. Instagram screenshot

In the facts, “PA 7Asked his consenting subscribers for their identifiers from the official tax website. He then took care of all the fraudulent steps to request aid from the solidarity fund. For example, he informed the sectors of activity still eligible during the health crisis, by inflating the turnover of 2019, to simulate a loss of income in 2020. Paul Antony then asked his customers to pay him a commission between 30 and 50% of the amount of the grant.

In total, 657 autoentrepreneurs have benefited from its services, representing 22 million euros of aid applications and at least 5.8 million euros actually paid by the State, indicates The Parisian. According to the police, this figure would be underestimated: “This list of suspicious persons, still subject to change, made it possible to understand the extent of this fraud of a whole new kind, which had its source within national solidarity.“A sum that the young man’s lawyer, Carole Foissy, contests with AFP: “The amount embezzled, whatever it is, is not the amount he received anyway.”

The investigation had started at the beginning of the year. The Yvelines Public Finance Department had checked a person who had received Covid aid and discovered that he was not eligible for it. She then explained how she had been helped and the police were able to trace it back to “PA7”, according to a source familiar with the matter. An investigation was opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office on May 7 and an arrest warrant was then issued against “PA7”. During his first appearance interrogation, he did not wish to speak, according to his lawyer.

His criminal record does not bear “Only one mention” and he did “Never been convicted of fraud” before, she said. “He received an excellent education but left school very young, he was not adapted. He is a young man who fell in the social networks like many, it was for him a vicious circle, he used them for illegal purposes. ” In this case, a second protagonist was indicted on the same counts and imprisoned on September 9. For his part, Paul Antony now displays the status “in prisonOn his Snapchat profile.


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