Academician Arie de Ruijter, who is suspected of forgery and fraud at Tilburg University, also appears to have harmed Utrecht University. He gave a relative without degrees a job as an associate professor there.
De Ruijter is currently on trial at the Amsterdam court for forgery and fraud. The Public Prosecution Service suspects him of years of large-scale fraud and demands two years in prison.
The former dean was 2017 held. He is said to have defrauded Tilburg University – among others – for more than a million euros. He did this by having false invoices paid to family members. Another salient detail came to light during the hearing. Before being appointed to Tilburg, De Ruijter worked as a professor at Utrecht University, where he appointed a cousin’s husband as associate professor.
The money was meant for education and research, for good science, and it didn’t end up there
The man was appointed from October 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007 and, according to the Public Prosecution Service, earned a net salary of more than 58,000 euros, without having performed any work. He also had no scientific qualifications. De Ruijter’s relative by marriage did not even have a HAVO or VWO diploma.
The spokesperson of the Executive Board of Utrecht University, Maarten Post, confirms this to radio program argos. “It is incredibly unfortunate and regrettable that this has happened,” said Post. “The money was intended for education and research, for good science, and it did not end up there.”
Post admits that the university has also failed. “We wondered how on earth this was possible.” After the FIOD discovered the illegal appointment during house searches, Utrecht University launched an internal investigation. It was concluded that ‘that the checks and balances have not functioned adequately’.
The multiple criminal division of the Amsterdam District Court will rule on the criminal case on 2 August. The Public Prosecution Service has also demanded a substantial unconditional prison sentence against De Ruijter’s niece. The other two suspects are subject to community service and a suspended prison sentence.
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