The Special Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against a former employee of Valhöll, the headquarters of the Independence Party in Iceland, for having used the credit card of the conservative group of the Nordic Council for his private expenses worth ISK 19.4 million (USD 151,000, EUR 114,000).
The illegal activities came to light in spring 2011 when the group’s management was relocated from Iceland to Finland. The Independence Party had their books reviewed upon request from the Finns and reported the man to police, Fréttablaðið reports.
In the charge, issued on December 18, the man is accused of having used the credit card without permission in 16 countries from January 2009 to March 2011. It lists 321 transactions that were “without authorization and on all accounts irrelevant to the parties’ work.”
The man is charged with defrauding a total of ISK 19.4 million of which ISK 2.2 million were used to buy plane tickets. Around ISK 12 million of the amount were withdrawn in ATMs.
The highest single amounts were spent at the watchmaker’s Hübner in Vienna, Austria, and the luxury product store Aishti in Beirut, Lebanon, ISK 510,000 (USD 4,000, EUR 3,000) and ISK 414,000, respectively.
The man is 30 years old and is now registered with a legal domicile in Romania. He had been active in the Independence Party’s youth program before becoming its international representative as the conservative group’s secretary.
He may be looking at a prison sentence of up to two years if found guilty for breach of trust, or six years if the convictions are considered particularly severe. The case will be filed at Reykjavík District Court on January 30.