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Red Cross fraud hits donor confidence

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10:14 CEST+02:00
Public faith in the Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset) has taken a beating in the wake of the embezzlement scandal involving its former communications chief, Johan af Donner.

Af Donner was arrested in June on suspicion of embezzling 5 million kronor ($719,000) over a period of employment spanning five years at the aid organisation.

The scandal has harmed public faith in the organisation, according to a new survey published by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The survey indicates that more that half of those positively disposed to the charity in March had changed their attitude by September.

Only 19 percent of those surveyed expressed a very positive view of the Red Cross in the survey, down from 42 percent in March.

The now fired af Donner is also suspected of embezzling a further 1.6 million kronor from the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden) while an employee from 2000 to 2003.

Af Donner is formally suspected of breach of faith committed by an agent on his principal and aggravated fraud.

Chief public prosecutor Johansson has made at the district court allowing for the entire amount embezzled, 6.6 million kronor, to be secured by the Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden) to settle the amounts owed to the plaintiffs.

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