Police have detained an employee at the Romanian Academy who was responsible for paying honorariums to dozens of members, on suspicion of embezzlement.
The official allegedly siphoned off 3.1 million lei in funds by making fictitious payments to members of the prestigious organization.
The money was disguised as monthly honorariums paid to Academy members who had died, or academicians who hadn’t taken their payments for various reasons.
The Academy’s members are top intellectuals in their field, and most are over 60. Writers, philosophers, archaeologists, doctors, mathematicians, biologists, engineers and painters are among its members.
The oldest is Mihai Sora, a 104-year-old philosopher and essayist who was active during anti-corruption protests and is a commentator on political and social affairs.
Police made a house search on Thursday and opened an investigation into embezzlement of funds at the Romanian Academy.
Daily Libertatea reported in July 2020 that the case was first discovered last year by employees of the Academy.
Ioan Dumitrache, the general secretary of the Academy said that the money had been recovered, apparently in a cupboard at the Academy, and prosecutors were investigating.
The Romanian Academy has 181 members who receive 3,000 lei a month and 145 members who receive 2,500 lei.
Taking into account extra bonuses, an academician can receive as much as 9,000 lei a month
There are currently about 80 full-time members and 91 honorary members in Romania and abroad, according to the site.