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Red Cross official admits multi-million kronor fraud

Red Cross official admits multi-million kronor fraud

Published: 21 Apr 2010 11:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Apr 2010 11:25 GMT+02:00

The trial began on Wednesday of former Swedish Red Cross communications chief Johan af Donner, who quickly confessed to swindling the aid organisation and the Swedish Cancer Fund out of millions of kronor.

Prosecutor Alf Johansson listed a long list of charges when the trial opened at Stockholm District Court.

"Both in the cases of the Red Cross and the Swedish Cancer Fund we're talking about serious and systematic criminal activity over a period of many years," he said.

Af Donner, who could face a lengthy jail term if convicted, has been charged along with two alleged accomplices, who deny many of the charges against them.

The former Red Cross communications director is charged with aggravated fraud and aggravated bribery and his accomplices are charged with aggravated bribery, aggravated accounting fraud and aggravated fiscal fraud.

The Red Cross said the fraud amounted to 7.7 million kronor ($1.1 million). The suspects are accused of stealing 5.2 million kronor from the Red Cross between 2004 and 2009, and 2.5 million kronor from the Swedish Cancer Society, where af Donner had previously worked, between 2000 and 2003.

Af Donner, who worked for the Red Cross until the middle of last year, is accused of making up fake invoices with the help of his unidentified accomplices, who worked for suppliers.

"He wants to do the right thing and repair the damage he has caused," said af Donner's lawyer Leif Silbersky.

The legal counsel underlined however that his client denied the charges of bribery.

"We don't share the prosecutor's point of view with regard to the alleged bribery and I intend to attempt to ensure the consequences for him [af Donner] are as reasonable as possible," said Silbersky.

Some 4.2 million kronor of the total amount owed to the Red Cross and the Swedish Cancer Fund has already been secured through the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden).

"I'm glad we discovered the irregularities and reported them to the police, which in turn has led to a trial," said Red Cross secretary general Christer Zettergren.

"The accused are now being brought to account and the Red Cross can get on with its activities," he added.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 April 21, 2010 by sweco1
He is just one of the group who are working to control Sweden. They do not want much of a trial that might reveals connections to other members of the group.

And don´t be kinder yourselfs, this group controls the top position in Sweden right now just like the U.S. they are distance cousins.

The evidence is there if any cares to look at what is really going ON!
13:02 April 21, 2010 by Audrian
What collar crimes are rampant in Western countries but they are rarely persecuted successfully. The recent bank crisis is an example. The State is controlled by the wealth class of bankers and industrialists who protect themselves by an army of lawyers, elite rulers, and corrupt judiciary (and security officers).

According to the Corruption index published yearly Sweden might not be as clean as countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Finland and Austria, but it is the 7th cleanest country against the US, which is about number 30. I expect justice to be done.
13:25 April 21, 2010 by cbeynch
If the accusation are true, I herewith formally, in writing, accuse Donner of being moral monster! For an official of a charitable institution to steal is beyond comprehension. May he rot in jail for along, long time. Plus, he should have his assets confiscated, yachts, passport, BMWs, real estate, homes on the French Riviera. Let him know what it is like to be middle class, serve a long jail term, and then live in a filthy HSB housing project, in an undesirable neighborhood, with Hipp-Håpp musicians next door. And this vulture Silbersky, has he finished his lebanese murder trial in Landskrona already? His name always appears when decent Swedes are justifiably outraged. Silbersky appears to be looking for self-aggrandization and publicity, not justice! He's a pathetic, predatrory creap, with outhouse level ethics in my opinion. A snakoil salesman, like most lawyers, speaking with a forked tongue! Jail Donner now!
13:50 April 21, 2010 by Deema
This is only an example that this who steals from us the most, are usually one of us!
13:52 April 21, 2010 by wabasha
cbeynch... this is sweden, he will pay a fine and do 90 days in jail.
14:27 April 21, 2010 by bolababu
@cbenych.

" and then live in a filthy HSB housing project, in an undesirable neighborhood, with Hipp-Håpp musicians next door."

I'm sure that by this statement, you mean it is undesirable to have non-swedes next door or how can you explain the term "hipp-håpp musicians"?

Funny how race has everything to do with everything in Sweden. Why does hate have to overwhelm any sense of judgement that you may have?

Not like schlaggar is that desirable anyway but who cares? ..Live with Swedes long enough and you'd see who they really are when they let their guard down.
15:02 April 21, 2010 by bobalong
No wonder charities scream out for more money? It is so the higher authorities can live it up! I suspected for years that a lot of aid never got to where it was needed.
15:12 April 21, 2010 by cbeynch
@bolababu: You're too quick on the draw, and you're shooting from the hip bolababu. Where in my commentary does it say anything about `race`. OK then, let me re-phrase; "live amongst blond haired, blue eyed, people in a filthy, graffiti smeared, HSB housing project, in a neighborhood populated by fair skinned, blond people". Watch, some Dane is now going to claim discrimination. Hipp-Håpp is the music of gangstas, it is loud, awful, and promotes criminality, and graffiti. I want Hipp-håpp to drive Donner insane as part of his punishment. The focus of our discussion should be on this cock roach Donner and his slimy attorney, Silbersky, not on your own misguided, socialist, neurotic, thought processees.
01:47 April 22, 2010 by kzjh72
The really sad thing with organisations like the Red Cross is that even without fraud, there is just a small amount of the money donated that actually reaches the intended recipients. After a few first hand experiences of the waste on executive salaries, general admin and untaxed employee benefits that goes on in some charity organisations I have stopped donating to them. It's better to give money straight in hand to genuinely needy beggars on the street. In those cases 100% of your donation goes to the intended recipient.
03:35 April 22, 2010 by Davey-jo
No-one is above corruption. If it's human it will stink.
07:36 April 22, 2010 by Jimk
That's why I do not Donate! And here again I got my confirmation...
07:57 April 22, 2010 by izbz
All his assets should be frozen, a great disgrace to charity organisation. That is why when I donate I want to be sure where it goes to. I supported doctors without boundries, sponsor a few children in Nepal and India. Set up a small loan to help single mothers to start biz in 3rd world countries thru KIVA organisation.

Kiva is the best, your money is loan and when fully return you can chose to reloan to another person and withdraw back the money(really non profitable)
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