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Infront reveals ex-employee believed to have defrauded clients

Infront is expected to announce today that a former employee is under criminal investigation for “disloyal and unfaithful business management” during their time at the agency.

A criminal investigation by the public prosecutor in Switzerland’s Thurgau canton accuses the former employee of fraudulent activity in relation to the selling of perimeter board advertising for matches governed by the German football association, the Deutscher Fußball-Bund.

These activities include “providing clients with less advertising time than contractually specified, [and] creating a surplus of available advertising time that generated additional revenue,” according to a letter from Infront president and chief executive Philippe Blatter.

Infront’s statement adds that the employee is thought to have skimmed the surplus funds from the company. The statement also reveals further wrongdoing, including that “gifts, at Infront’s cost, were provided by the former employee to employees of at least one of Infront’s clients that exceeded reasonable and customary values.”

The employee was dismissed by Infront upon the Thurgau prosecutor’s initial notification, after which the agency carried out an internal investigation. Infront has applied to constitute itself as a victim in the criminal procedure.

Blatter ends the letter: “We are taking this situation very seriously. I would like to emphasise how deeply shocked I am that a former senior employee of ours violated our trust to the detriment of our clients and our company so ferociously. Ethical conduct is at the heart of what we do, and we expect our employees to act in accordance with our strict ethical standards.

“We will take all measures necessary to avoid similar incidents in the future. As part of our ongoing internal investigation we have identified internal control processes that need to be, and are in the process of being, strengthened.”