The Children Cancer Foundation was subjected to a three-and-a-half-year investigation by the police, the prosecutor’s office and the tax authority. During this period, not a single evidence of misuse was found, legal representative of the Foundation disclosed.
Investigations at the organisation started after Index had presented a video in December 2013 showing István Balogh, head of the foundation, commuting to work using the organisation’s child saving ambulance vehicle, which was being driven on bus lanes and tram tracks, without distinctive signals, to avoid traffic jams. More information was published later, which suggested misuse of funds.
In January 2014, the Budapest Police Department (BRFK) started an investigation but the procedure was terminated on 31 May 2016. According to the rationale of the decision, an extensive investigation was performed and no criminal offence could be established on the basis of available data.
The BRFK’s decision also states that further investigative actions are not likely to carry forward the investigation. The legal representative of the foundation noted that the authority arrived at this conclusion after several years of intensive investigation.
The foundation pointed out that the legal decision made it clear that the claims and rumours related to István Balog’s activities published in the media after 2013 were unfounded. Their legal representative noted: During his work, István Balogh kept all the regulations and never misused a single forint.
Due to these media claims, the total sum acquired by the Foundation through 1% personal income tax offerings in the past years was 550 million forints less than what was expected based on tendencies before 2014, according to the foundation’s own calculations.
Between 2006 and 2009, the Children Cancer Foundation was No 1 in terms of 1% personal income tax offerings; from 2010 to 2013, it was No 2. While in 2013 it received a total of 221 million, this sum fell to 70 million and 63 million in 2014 and 2016, respectively, making the organisation No 6 and No 10 on the list.