- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:02
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Police confirmed that a body found near Zeist on Wednesday morning was that of Jos van Hal Scheffer, 49, who until recently represented the Freedom Party (PVV) in the Provinciale Staten in Utrecht province.
Van Hal Scheffer stepped down four weeks ago after his wife was arrested over claims she operated a large-scale fraud through her law firm, Scheffer, based in The Hague.
Monique van Hal is suspected of defrauding clients of between €3 million and €4 million by supplying false papers and court documents. Most of the clients were companies in the building and housing sector.
Her husband had no official role in the Scheffer law firm, but investigators say he was involved in running the business. His wife has told investigators that he was unaware of the fraud.
Police became concerned on Monday when Mr Van Hal left home with a large graze to his head and without taking his regular medication with him. It is not known what condition he was being treated for. The cause of his death has not been determined.
The financial regulator in The Hague has confirmed that Mr Van Hal’s role with his wife’s firm formed part of the investigation. He is thought to have been involved in acquisitions and administration.
The firm’s offices and the couple’s home were searched when the investigation was launched at the beginning of June. Mrs van Hal has been suspended from practising law and could face criminal charges as well as disciplinary sanctions.
Her lawyer, Theo Hiddema, said she had admitted falsifying documents, but denied she was a “master fraudster”. “This is about a desperate, kamikaze act,” he said.
He added that her husband had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the fraud.
Mrs van Hal is accused of billing companies for payments which are paid to the courts through lawyers to cover the costs of legal experts.
In the cases of the defrauded companies Mrs van Hal is supposed to have sent false – and inflated – claims and paid the money into her company accounts.
PVV leader Geert Wilders expressed his condolences to Mr van Hal’s family. “It’s terrible news,” he told De Telegraaf.