Major fraud case plays out in court

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A band of alleged fraudsters who stole from the rich were called into court in Oslo this week, but their offenses differ sharply from storybook legend Robin Hood: They failed to share their ill-gotten gains with the poor.

Newspaper Aftenposten reports that 16 defendants allegedly held on to an estimated NOK 12.5 million they’re believed to have swindled from wealthy Norwegians whose list of names reads like a “Who’s who” among the country’s elite: Grieg, Wilhelmsen, Ringnes, Cappelen, Blystad, Stolt-Nielsen and Klaveness among them.

They were victims of an alleged plot led by a convicted swindler, Philip Holst-Cappelen, alias Philip Sigval Bergesen, but he has disappeared much to the chagrin of prosecutors and the judge in Tingretten, the Oslo city court.

The plot involved planting a member of the criminal band into a job at Norway’s largest bank, DnB NOR. His mission, according to prosecutors, was to gain access to sensitive information regarding the accounts of wealthy individuals. The accounts were then tapped for millions of kroner through the use of false plastic bank cards, drivers’ licenses, and passports.

Police have dubbed the case “Plastic Fantastic” and contend the criminal band would have stolen another NOK 9 million if they hadn’t been stopped. A secretary for one of the wealthy investors helped blow the whistle when she noticed suspicious activity on her boss’ account. The case is expected to run through the end of the year.

Views and News staff