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Former Red Cross chief faces court in fraud case

TT/Christine Demsteader · 15 Jan 2010, 11:26

Published: 15 Jan 2010 11:26 GMT+01:00

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Af Donner, along with two accomplices from a supply firm to the charity, are believed to have pocketed money with the aid of false invoices. The three now face up to six years in prison.

”I feel both sorrow and anger,” Red Cross general secretary Christer Zettergren told TT.

”I believe most people who donate money understand that this is about a individual person who has cheated us and nothing else.”

Last year, suspicions were raised within the organisation that large amounts of money were going amiss.

When head office employees raised the alarm an investigation concluded with the arrest of Af Donner who was immediately suspended from his position.

Further investigations have revealed he was also embroiled in a fraud scheme while working for the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden) between 1997 and 2004, before he joined the Red Cross.

The case involves the duplication of invoices relating to supplies and services. The suspects are to be tried on a number of charges including gross fraud, bribery and accounting irregularities.

The trio are believed to have shared 5.7 million kronor from the Red Cross and pocketed a sum of 2.5 million kronor from the Swedish Cancer Society.

Af Donner is also accused of swindling a further 390,000 kronor from Red Cross accounts of his own accord.

His lawyer Leif Silbersky was brief in his comments to the press.

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“My client is informed and he will account for his behaviour before the court,” he told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

“I will also present my point of view on the charges. That is all I have to say for the moment.”

Chief prosecutor Alf Johansson is demanding damages, company fines for the supply firm as well as a ban on all three suspects starting their own companies in the future.

TT/Christine Demsteader (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:09 January 15, 2010 by Plowbridge
Donner is going to be skewered and rightfully so.

He has stolen the goodwill of many, damaged a reputable organisation and has the blood of the needy and dying on his hands.

Let's hope Swedish justice for once lays a heavy punishment on him
14:15 January 15, 2010 by jose_s
doesn't he have a conscious? how can he sleep at night knowing that he is supposed to be helping those who need the money even more? he will sooner or later have to face the consequences of his crimes... and i'm not talking about the court system.
14:54 January 15, 2010 by Åskar
jose_s: "doesn't he have a conscious?"

(I assume you mean conscience) I have a suspicion psychopaths usually don't have one.
20:49 January 15, 2010 by Kevin Harris
I heard from a very reliable source working in Afghanistan, that money donated to the Red Cross is better given to a more reliable organisation.

It seems to be true.
21:07 January 15, 2010 by jose_s
oh... that changes everything...
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