Off campus

PVV scout out over fraud suspicion

PVV scout out over fraud suspicion



PVV senator Gom van Strien has resigned from his job as a scout for a new Dutch cabinet. He has been charged with fraud at his former employer, a subsidiary of Utrecht University.


Until mid-2009, Van Strien was director of Utrecht Holdings, the knowledge transfer office of Utrecht University and Utrecht UMC that sets up spin-off companies to sell discoveries made by the university.


Newspaper NRC reported (in Dutch) this weekend that stories of financial irregularities had been circulating for years. In March this year, following an external investigation, Utrecht Holdings reported (in Dutch) the fraud to the public prosecutor. This involved two employees and a former employee. From documents from Utrecht Holdings, NRC deduced that Van Strien is the former employee.


An anonymised summary judgment (in Dutch) of the District Court of Gelderland describes the fraud. It boils down to the fact that Van Strien, together with his later successor, set up a construction through which some two million euros of public money eventually flowed to a company where their wives each owned 32 per cent of the shares.


Van Strien denied the allegations this weekend and said he was not aware of the report, but according to Utrecht Holdings’ lawyer, that was not true. On Monday 27 November, three days after his appointment, he withdrew (in Dutch) as a scout. 


In an interview with Utrecht University’s newspaper DUB (in Dutch) in 2010, Van Strien explained why he signed up for the PVV. He was against “mass immigration of virtually illiterate people” and wanted a ban on headscarves in public buildings and publicly funded organisations. (HOP, HC)


HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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