Royal black sheep admits adoption scam

A cousin of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has admitted adopting an adult German in exchange for a large cash sum.

Jan Bernadotte, second cousin to the king, adopted a 34-year old German in 1987. The adoption gave the German the right to call himself Gerhard Bernadotte, count of Wisborg.

Bernadotte now admits that the adoption took place in exchange for 350,000 German marks. He says he did it because he was in financial difficulties at the time.

Gerhard Bernadotte then used his relationship to the Swedish royal family to carry out a series of frauds around Europe.

“It was extremely stupid of me to agree to this,” Jan Bernadotte told Aftonbladet on Sunday.

The paper says that the adoption, which was carried out according to German law, was invalid. Bernadotte and his adopted son swore that they had a close father-son relationship, something Bernadotte now admits was not true. The pair cannot now be tried for their false claim, as too much time has passed.