The Investigation Service of Georgia’s Finance Ministry on Wednesday said it had charged four individuals, including an entrepreneur, for appropriation of state financial support for wine farms by use of forged documents.
The body said one of the individuals charged, the head of a cooperative in the eastern region of Kakheti, had signed an agreement with the state Rural Development Agency to obtain ₾500,000 ($194,552) in financing to purchase grape harvesting and processing machinery.
It added the individual then used the identity of another company, through “neglect” on the part of representatives of the latter, to produce fake documents signifying purchase and installation of the hardware at a farm.
The head of the cooperative then presented the fraudulent documentation to state agencies to receive the funding.
The Service said efforts were underway to compensate the state for the financial damage, and added the offence was punishable by seven to 11 years in prison.