Danish chef fined for money laundering after taking cash payment

The district court in Herning has fined a restaurant manager 5,000 kroner after he accepted a large cash payment for catering services at a wedding anniversary celebration.

Danish chef fined for money laundering after taking cash payment
File photo: Bax Lindhardt/Ritzau Scanpix

The chef received the fine after being paid 53,000 kroner in cash for preparing the meal at a silver wedding celebration in central Jutland.

Herning’s district court found that, by accepting cash in payment for the service, he was in breach of laws designed to prevent money laundering.

According to the law, businesses are prevented in principle for accepting payments of over 50,000 kroner in cash.

Prosecution authorities had asked for a fine of 10,000 kroner, the minimum that can be given for infringements of this type.

But the court found a smaller fine to be adequate, since the purpose of the payment had been clearly demonstrated, the court wrote on its website.

The chef, who also runs a restaurant, was paid in cash by the customer and deposited the money at his bank shortly afterwards, where he stated that the money was a payment for catering services.

He had asked to be acquitted of the charges, claiming he had not acted negligently.

Previous cases of sanctions being handed out for marginal breaches of Denmark’s money laundering rules have been reported.

These include a car dealership which was in 2017 charged after taking a cash payment of 50,030 kroner for the sale of a vehicle.

The Union of Danish Car Dealerships (Dansk Bilforhandler Union), speaking at the time of that sanction, was critical of the strict application of the rule.

“We’d like to see this limited by triviality. It cannot be right that such a small infraction can result in such a big fine,” the union’s chairperson Karl-Ove Pedersen said of the punishment, which was the result of an excess of 30 kroner being taken in cash by the car dealer.

READ ALSO: Danish financial authority failed to use strongest measures against banks: report


US files lawsuit against scandal-hit Danske Bank

The United States and a US pension fund have filed a claim in a Danish court seeking more than $1.6 million for lost investments following a money laundering scandal that engulfed Danske Bank, their lawyer confirmed.

US files lawsuit against scandal-hit Danske Bank
Photo: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

“A lawsuit was filed in September against Danske Bank and its former CEO Thomas Borgen,” lawyer Thomas Donatzky said on Tuesday, adding that he could not provide any details.

The Danish financial daily Børsen, which first reported on the lawsuit, said the US government and pension fund were seeking 10 million kroner (1.3 million euros) due to losses suffered after shares in Danske Bank plunged in 2018 when the bank got caught up in huge money laundering schemes.

An investigation carried out by an outside law firm for the bank found that it could not account for the origin of more than $220 billion that flowed through its Estonian branch from 2007 to 2015, much of which was suspected to have come from Russia.

Borgen resigned in the wake of the scandal and the bank closed its operations in the Baltic States and Russia.

“The contingent liabilities related to civil shareholder claims and related amount described in today’s media coverage is part of the disclosure in our Annual Report for 2020,” Danske Bank said in a statement.

The report put the total of such claims at 12.4 billion kroner at the end of 2020.