A report by the Public Prosecution Service for Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA) shows how former Minister of Family Affairs Sophie Karmasin later – presumably on purpose – submitted bills for her continued payment of 72,000 euros as a top politician.
Sophie Karmasin is not doing well. Wednesday the news that her former employee Sabine Beinschab is a key witness. Beinschab earned the status because she unpacked new criminally relevant details against the ex-minister of family affairs. 24 hours later, a 100-page analysis by the WKStA is included in the criminal file, detailing how Karmasin tried to cash in twice in the first six months after leaving the government.
The story itself was discovered by ORF four months ago and the report now contains new details.
Salary payment requested
Politicians who resign and are incapacitated for work continue to receive 75 percent of their monthly salary for up to six months. Karmasin had requested continued payment of wages after her term of office, although she had other sources of income.
More than 74,000 euros already refunded
When this became known, the pollster tried to limit the damage. She paid back more than 74,000 euros. Her statement at the time: “It is important for me to emphasize that I did not want to violate any legal requirements under any circumstances.”
However, the WKStA report reads very differently. In the period from December 2017 to the end of May 2018, Beinschab organized keynote speeches for Karmasin – for example for the “Political Academy of the ÖVP”, for a trade conference in South Tyrol or for an event agency. According to the WKStA, Karmasin has asked Beinschab not to submit the bill until June 2018. The reason she gave in an email was: “But please don’t settle yet, not until June. I can’t earn anything.”
Invoices for multiple projects
A clear indication that Karmasin knew the legal rules very well, but apparently wanted to cheat. During those six months, she also diligently wrote offers on company stationery. When examining the outstanding accounts, statements were found for projects, such as for the Red Bull Mediahuis, according to the same pattern.