Eiffel Tower employees on trial for embezzlement

23rd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - A group of 15 former employees of the Eiffel Tower went on trial on Thursday in Paris, accused of embezzling one million euros from sales of tickets to visit Paris's most famous landmark.

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - A group of 15 former employees of the Eiffel Tower went on trial on Thursday in Paris, accused of embezzling one million euros from sales of tickets to visit Paris's most famous landmark.

The 12 women and three men aged 35 to 63 are accused of taking advantage of weaknesses in the ticket office's computer system to steal part of the sales revenues from 1996 to 2002.

They individually face charges of embezzling amounts varying between 8,981 euros (12,000 dollars) to 125,796 euros.

The defendants denied any wrongdoing during the appearance before a Paris criminal court on Thursday.

The company that manages the Eiffel Tower uncovered the scam in February 2002 after receiving an anonymous letter from an employee.

"I have worked for your company for a season and I have noticed certain fraudulent transactions," said the letter.

An investigation led to charges against 15 of the 27 employees working at the ticket office.

Visitors to the Eiffel Tower pay up to 11.50 euros to ride one of the elevators to the top of the tower.

The trial is expected to continue until March 30.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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