Fidesz mayor indicted for building a hunting lodge for himself with EU funds

November 29, 2017

Fidesz mayor who built a hunting lodge for himself from EU funds has been indicted
Mayor József Mondok | Photo:ás Botos

József Mondok, Fidesz mayor of Izsák, has been indicted for financial fraud causing significant financial disadvantages and other crimes by the Kecskemét Prosecutor’s Investigation office, reports Mondok came into the limelight when it was revealed in January that he used a hunting lodge his company had built from EU funds as his private residence. later revealed that Mondok built another hunting lodge in the village of Karád, also using EU funds. The Karád hunting lodge, just like the one in Izsák, could not be found on online booking sites, and when attempted to enter the building an employee told the reporters that the seemingly brand-new lodge was under renovation so they could not enter. Both hunting lodges were built by Mondok’s company Agro-Wild using funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Eventually, Együtt (Together) vice-president Balázs Berkecz filed a report against Mondok for budgetary fraud in March and authorities began investigating. Although Kecskemét’s Prosecutor’s Investigation office does not name Mondok explicitly in its statement, based on the defendant’s description it is clear that Mondok is the first-degree defendant.

According to the office’s statement, on January 15, 2014, the defendant applied to the Ministry of Agriculture for grants from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to build a hunting lodge. The defendant attached a program plan to his application indicating that the construction and operation of the lodge would be undertaken in accordance with the grant agreement.

The Ministry of Agriculture granted HUF 35 million (USD 133,000) to the defendant. The hunting lodge was finished and received an occupancy permit, however it was revealed that the defendant concealed the fact that he had spent the grants on building a property for himself and his wife, the statement concludes. The second-degree defendant, most likely József Mondok Jr., is indicted as well.

The Investigator’s office also determined that a public worker who, according to the official administration, was supposed to be employed at the Izsák Local History Museum in fact undertook various duties around the lodge. Meanwhile, the Izsák council received grants from the central budget for employing the public worker at the museum. According to the Investigator’s office, the third-degree defendant, a council worker, helped Mondok with this employment scheme, causing HUF 934,222 (USD 3,550) in damage to the central budget.

József Mondok paid back both grants in June. The case will be discussed by the Kecskemét District Court.