El Mundo reports that in 2009 the union billed the Junta for “training services” but used the cash to buy a ton of sweets for the Seville three Kings procession – they had their own floats which throw sweets to all children as they pass by.
Even better – the Junta had already promised to pay for these sweets, and gave UGT €4520 which seems to have vanished.
But the story gets even better.
UGT had bought so many sweets that they had 415 kilos left over. So they stuck these sweets in a storehouse, and used them in 2010 – but still asked (and received!) another grant from the Junta to buy sweets for the parade!
The purchases were made via a company called Publicar D&M, a company wholly owned by the union and which was setup to provide marketing and publicity support for UGT. However, prosecutors claim the company was setup simply to suck up as much taxpayers cash as they could.
The company was also in charge of the famous “briefcase” giveaway. In October 2011 the company purchased 900 brand name briefcases, but billed the Junta the exact same amount they supposedly cost, under the pretence the money was going to retrain unemployed farmhands.
Even better: the “brand name” which was supposed to have made the briefcases reckons the invoice is false, and the briefcases are cheap copies made in China.
The union stole so much money from the tax-payer that whistleblowers have presented evidence that UGT’s inhouse accounting programme actually had a running total of “costs” which would automatically balance with the available grants from the Junta de Andalucia.
In other words: The Junta would say “here’s a million available”, and UGT would say “we need 750,000 to run our programmes, lets find a further 250,000 to suck it all up”.
And the politicians wonder why we don’t want to pay our taxes…