Oslo Catholic Diocese have to pay 1 million in fines for membership cheating. The CEO is charged with fraud whilst it is no longer any suspicion against Bishop Bernt Eidsvig.
The fine is imposed because employees of the diocese during the period from 2011 to 2014 used the telephone directory to reach people with “Catholic-sounding names.”
They then obtained the personal identification numbers to these people and presented them as members on the annual applications for State subsidy.
– They thus applied for state subsidy for people who were not members of the Oslo Catholic diocese (OKB), says chief public prosecutor Kristian Jarland at Oslo’s public prosecutor’s office.
The prosecutor limited the fine to just 2 million kroner.
The reason why the amount cannot be set higher, is that it is considered difficult to ascertain with sufficient certainty how much state aid the Diocese received improperly .
Oslo Catholic diocese have until Monday December 19 to respond to the fine.
– We are satisfied with the dismissal of the complaint against Bishop Eidsvig, but we are surprised that the prosecutor takes out indictments against the diocese finance director.
We will also consider whether the fine is appropriate, says administrative director Lisa Wade at the Oslo Catholic diocese.
The decision by the state prosecutor shows according to OKB that they have taken 5,000 false registrations into consideration in the period 2011-2014.
Wade acknowledges that the Oslo Catholic Diocese membership registration for a period was “not good enough”, but still believes that they have not done anything illegal.
– We have always recognized that we have made mistakes and had an unfortunate practice in parts of our registration proceedures. We believe that we have never done anything illegal or received too much money, she says.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today