Police officers from Norway’s economic crimes unit Økokrim have made a string of seizures on the property of a farmer charged in a major fraud case that involves Norway’s largest cooperative for fruit and vegetable growers. Among items seized from the farm, according to newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), was a Porsche Cayenne.
Investigators also suspect the farmer bought a residence in Sweden and stakes in a racehorse called Ferrari with money he wrongly obtained from an employee at the Gartnerhallen cooperative. The Gartnerhallen employee has admitted that he made illegal disbursements of funds from the cooperative’s accounts totaling nearly NOK 50 million over a 10-year period, mostly to the farmer who also is charged in the case.
The farmer claims he only received NOK 18 million in what he called “loans” from the coop. He claims he was not aware that the Garnerhallen employee lacked authority to make such disbursements.
The farmer owns a nearly 800-mål (200 acre) farm in Hedmark County but reportedly ran into financial problems. Both he and the coop employee were jailed for two weeks, while authorities continued to investigate the case and raid his farm property. Both men were released last week.