A Paris court today sentenced 15 former Eiffel Tower ticket sellers to pay a total of about €697,000 in damages and fines for embezzling about €1m from the ticket office.
The court handed the 15, all former cashiers at the monument, suspended prison sentences of between three and 12 months.
Fines were settled between €2,000 and €10,000 and damages between €8,900 and €100,500.
Their system involved exploiting a computer glitch allowing them to print tickets that would not show up on the register receipts.
The Eiffel Tower’s management filed a complaint against them in 2002, based on an anonymous tip alerting management to “fraudulent manipulations.” Management said the scheme was in place from 1996-2002.
Investigators discovered a large difference between the number of tickets officially sold by the suspects and by their fellow ticket vendors.
The court also noted some of the suspects withdrew no funds from their bank accounts during the entire period of the fraudulent activity.
Constructed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has more than 6.2 million visitors each year.