Doc sought for Geneva fraud elected in France
The former head of a psychiatric division of Geneva’s university hospital system (HUG) is being sought for arrest under an international warrant over an alleged 1.7-million-franc ($1.9-million) fraud, according to a newspaper report.
The warrant was issued by the Geneva cantonal prosecutor’s office against Alain Malafosse, a 55-year-old doctor, after criminal complaints were filed by HUG and the University of Geneva, Le Temps reported online on Thursday.
But Malafosse was just re-elected as municipal councillor in Saint Brès, a small town in the south of France, near Montpellier, the newspaper said.
A reporter from Le Temps contacted the doctor there by telephone.
Malafosse said that he was “a bit in shock and dejected” but promised to respond by email to questions, the newspaper reported.
However, he did not send a reply by press time, Le Temps said.
HUG and the University of Geneva jointly filed criminal complaints in December accusing the doctor of “disloyal management of public assets” and fraud.
The allegations are linked to bills sent to an “external laboratory”, a non-profit foundation based in Montpellier that has the same address as a close relative of Malafosse.
A French citizen originally from Algeria who spent 18 years in Switzerland, he fled from his home in the upscale Geneva neighbourhood of Champel to the south of France, where he apparently has another home, the report from Le Temps indicated.
Because France does not extradite its citizens, Malafosse can apparently continue to sit as a municipal councillor.
It is not known whether Switzerland has made a request for legal assistance in the case from French authorities.
The Bertrand Levrat, head of HUG, earlier stated that the case, connected to research activities, had no direct impact on patients.