Farmer appeals corruption verdict

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A farmer from Hedmark who was convicted of swindling his own cooperative, Gartnerhallen, for nearly NOK 46 million has filed an appeal. He claims he’s innocent.

The Oslo City Court claimed otherwise, sentencing him to five years in prison and ordering him to repay the money. The jail term was almost exactly what prosecutors demanded for what they called years of virtual extortion of the coop’s accounting chief who regularly transferred money to his accounts.

The chief accountant, who confessed to the fraudulent transactions, was also convicted of corruption and sentenced to four years in jail for having collected around NOK 3.3 million of the money he siphoned off the coop’s account on behalf of the farmer.

The farmer claimed the money he received amounted merely to loans from the coop. Much of the proceeds was spent on expensive cars that have been seized by authorities, while the farmer filed for bankruptcy, staff