Six years after Stichting Hippo Mundo Charity (HMC) reported large-scale fraud of which HMC is a victim, the Gelderland District Court (Zutphen location) has today rendered a verdict and a conviction has been imposed on Jonathan van der L., his girlfriend and co-defendant Frederique P., and two companies founded by him. HMC is looking forward to the fact that after a 6-year procedure peace will return and it will be able to fully focus on the execution of its Christian and humanitarian objectives.
The court considers the following charges proven: forgery, fraud, embezzlement and money laundering and imposes a non-suspended prison sentence of 2.5 years. Van der L.’s friend and fellow suspect was also convicted in this case. In her case, the sentence was 120 hours’ community service for, among other things, forgery.
The two companies Adsolve BV and BCC Global Foundation (founded by himself under this false name) were convicted for forgery and money laundering respectively and had to pay fines of EUR 10,000 and 150,000.
The court wrote, among other things: “The man abused the trust placed in him as the ‘financial man’ within the faith community. He only thought of his own financial gain so he could start a new life outside the community. However, all this at the expense of (the members of) the faith community. The court holds this against the man heavily. “
This criminal judgment follows almost two years after the District Court of Midden-Nederland ruled on 24 July 2020, in the context of civil proceedings instituted by HMC, that Van der L. and his girlfriend must repay HMC more than €8 million.
HMC has suffered great damage and serious hindrance in carrying out its Christian and humanitarian objectives as a result of the fraud committed by Van der L.
But HMC is not alone. Through the actions of Van der L. and others, the Christian religious community from which HMC operates has suffered great damage to its reputation, as a result and part of their strategy to put pressure on the plaintiffs through smear campaigns.
Some media, especially the NRC Handelsblad, but also some foreign media, including the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv with which NRC cooperated, cooperated in this blackmailing by Van der L. As a result, the religious community that was already a victim of the fraud was victimised again by the same perpetrator.
HMC chairman David Nooitgedagt read a victim’s statement on behalf of the foundation during the first day of the hearing of the case on 24 February, in which he drew attention to the extensive damage suffered as a result of the case.
The public prosecutor emphasised in the indictment that HMC had done the only right thing when it immediately reported the fraud. And the prosecutor went into the accusations made by Van der L. against HMC and the religious community, which were also repeated in the media.
The prosecutor also emphasised the freedom of churches and faith communities to organise themselves in the interests of their Christian and humanitarian objectives . “Churches and faith communities have existed since before the formation of nations, they have great freedom in organising themselves. That BCC/CGN have chosen foreign corporate structures, that is their choice. It is precisely in the area of trust that the accused has abused it in a devious manner.” And: “It is absolutely right that HMC has filed a report.”
Hippo Mundo Charity (HMC) is committed to humanitarian and Christian charitable initiatives, particularly in second and third world countries. HMC wants to help (groups of) people and stimulate them to a dignified existence with prospects, based on a biblical foundation. And HMC wants to ensure that Christians can come together to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and to profess their faith together. Thus, through the efforts of HMC, important projects have been established in Eastern Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
In the meantime, HMC has been able to secure a part of the millions that have been siphoned off, partly with the cooperation of Van der L., and is in the process of collecting the remaining amounts from the various places in the world where Van der L. has deposited them. The board of HMC is looking forward to putting this matter behind them and to focusing again fully on the Christian and humanitarian objectives of the foundation.