Man charged with large-scale fraud must repay more than 8 million24 July 2020
Conviction in fraud case reported by HMC21 April 2022
On 24 and 25 February, hearings will be held for the substantive hearing of a criminal case instituted by the Public Prosecution Service against Jonathan van der L. on the basis of a report from Stichting HMC.
Published on 24 February 2022
Van der L. is suspected of large-scale fraud, money laundering, forgery of documents and participation in a criminal organisation.
Chairman David Nooitgedagt is present in the District Court of Gelderland to represent the victim in this fraud case, the Hippo Mundo Charity Foundation (HMC). On the first day of the hearing, he exercised his right to speak and made a victim statement. In this statement, Nooitgedagt says among other things:
“Most people present at today’s hearing will have noticed that the case heard by your court today has received a great deal of media attention. As victims in this criminal case, we have found many of the publications to be highly inaccurate, speculative and in some cases downright provocative. We are afraid that many people have been given a very wrong impression of HMC and what this case is really about. Therefore, on behalf of the Foundation, I am grateful to be able to tell you briefly about how we as victims view this case and what consequences it has had for us.”
Many of the Christian-humanitarian projects of HMC have been carried out in cooperation with organisations related to the Christian faith community Brunstad Christian Church (BCC), or in the Netherlands: Christelijke Gemeente Nederland (CGN). Although these organisations and the community are not, in principle, disadvantaged, they have also suffered a great deal as a result of the unjustified and incorrect way in which they have been involved in this case in the media.
Below is a brief overview of the case against Van der L.
For more information, also read the victim statement from HMC (PDF).
Case against Van der L.: a few facts in bullets
- On 29 January 2016, board member Jonathan van der L. of Stichting Hippo Mundo Charity deregistered himself as a board member with the Chamber of Commerce and sent this deregistration to his fellow board members for notification.
- On 26 February 2016, the board of HMC filed charges against Van der L. for discovering during internal investigations that more than 8 million euros had been stolen.
- At that point, HMC cannot continue, has to put mission projects on hold and divest its social enterprises, so humanitarian work stops at that point as well.
- On 2 March 2016, Van der L. and his girlfriend Frederique P. were arrested on suspicion of embezzling 8 million euros from HMC.
- On 9 March 2016, Van der L. confessed his guilt during police interrogations.
- Shortly after Van der L.’s arrest, various organisations, administrators and leading persons in the religious community of which Van der L. was a member received extortion letters demanding extremely large sums of money for data carriers with documents, images and correspondence of Jonathan van der L. If the money is not paid, the material is sold or passed on to the media. Of course, they do not accept this and report it to the police.
- Shortly after Van der L. was suspended from his pre-trial detention on 16 August 2016, a media offensive began, targeting HMC and other organisations within the religious community. The source of most publications is the suspect and his then lawyer. Various media have also been open about this over time.
- On 22 August 2016, the first hearing will take place in the criminal case against Van der L., in which he is suspected of large-scale fraud, money laundering, forgery of documents and participation in a criminal organisation.
- It has come to our attention that Van der L. and his lawyer, among others, participated in a meetingwith Psy-Group, an Israeli company of former Mossad employees, which offered influence operations and “boots on the ground” against a target of their choice, in this case HMC and its surroundings.
- From 2017 onwards, several witness hearings take place in the criminal case against Van der L. as part of the investigation by the court and the Public Prosecution Service.
- In 2017, HMC also started civil proceedings against Van der L., among others, with the aim of recovering the stolen money.
- On 14 March 2019, the first hearing in the civil case against Van der L. takes place.
- On 24 July 2020, the District Court of Midden Nederland rules in the civil case against Van der L.. Based on this judgement he has to pay back over 8 million euros to HMC.
- Today, on 24 February 2022, is the first day of the substantive hearing of the criminal case against Van der L. in which HMC makes its victim statement.