• Sweden's news in English

Red Cross chief appeals fraud conviction

TT/The Local · 31 May 2010, 13:24

Published: 31 May 2010 13:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Stockholm District Court found Johan af Donner guilty of aggravated fraud against the Red Cross and the Swedish Cancer Society. He was also convicted for breach of trust and for being an accessory to aggravated accounting fraud.

He has now appealed arguing that the five-year sentence handed down was too harsh.

"The judgement should be submitted to review by the appeals court, specifically with regard to the length of the sentence," af Donner's lawyer Leif Silbersky told news agency TT.

"We think three years is a reasonable punishment," he said.

The court ignored defence pleas for leniency, with Silberksy arguing that af Donner’s confession and displays of remorse warranted a lower sentence.

Af Donner, who pleaded guilty to all charges, used the money he siphoned off from the charities to fund a life of luxury. He viewed his monthly salary of 60,000 kronor ($7,500) as too low, and used the money he stole to pay for costs such as his son’s boarding school education.

As fundraising chief at the cancer society in the early 2000s, and as fundraising and communications chief at the Red Cross between 2004 and 2009, af Donner was considered a talented and trustworthy leader by colleagues.

The fraud was discovered after staff at the Red Cross’s Stockholm headquarters raised concerns about a large number of strange invoices. It emerged that af Donner had approved payments to companies that did not exist and for services that had never been performed.

Two suppliers of consultancy and printing services to the Red Cross were tried alongside af Donner, and were jailed for for eighteen months and two years and six months respectively.

The Red Cross and the Swedish Cancer Society are now attempting to recover money from af Donner.

Story continues below…

The court awarded damages against af Donner equivalent to the amount he stole from the charities.

The Red Cross is claiming 5.2 million kronor and the Cancer Society is looking to recover 2.5 million kronor. Prosecutors have so far managed to secure around 6 million kronor worth of his assets.

The court also banned af Donner from holding senior positions in a Swedish company for seven years. The other two men received five-year ban.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:15 May 31, 2010 by Mr Gee
The Red Cross help to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

I wonder if, by taking money from the charity, anyone has suffered?

And supposing that it was you or a loved one?

I fee sorry for those that might have suferred but aslo for Donner's family as they are innocent but have to carry the shame.
17:52 May 31, 2010 by J Jack
@Mr Gee, you might like to know that out of the reported $ US 55 million red cross raised for Haiti, Only 25% of it has been used, mostly on administration. The rest of it sits in a bank making bankers and red cross officials and their families rich and fat while afflicted people continue to suffer. So stop feeling sorry for the guy's family who have been using double layered aloe vera impregnated toilet paper for at least a decade and are not innocent, more like ignorant.
18:05 May 31, 2010 by calebian22
Considering that one of the companies that was overbilling the charities was Af Donner's wife's company, I doubt she is completely innocent. At best she is grossly incompetant.
18:11 May 31, 2010 by Mr Gee
@ J Jack / @calebian22

Okay - maybe I've been too accommodating and somewhat ignorant (but that's all of us to some extent).

Anyway, "double layered aloe vera impregnated toilet paper"?

Made me laugh and I'm sure my wife would like to try some!
07:53 June 1, 2010 by planethero
Where can you buy this toilet paper, i have a rolls royce arse and its being subjected to ford mondeo wipes. =:O)

5 years, just wondered how much this cost to prosecute and investigate, who pays for that, hope it comes off this turds mortgage. What an evil sicko.
13:13 June 1, 2010 by calebian22

He has been forced to sell his apartment in Stockholm and his vacation home on the west coast, to help pay back what he stole. No word on the aloe vera tp, though.....
13:20 June 1, 2010 by McChatter
What's with the Swedish law system?

This guy gets 5 years for ripping off the Red Cross. The young man who caused the death of an old man after a row over a parking place in Landskrona gets only 22 months. I just don't get it.
13:57 June 1, 2010 by Icarusty
Impregnated toilet paper, sounds kinky.
Today's headlines
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available