Man got 1.77 million from the municipality by mistake

The strange mistake occurred in October last year.

Asker municipality was to pay NOK 1,771,806 to Selvaag Bolig AS as a refund of overpaid municipal fees.

However, the money ended up wrong with a man with an account number that was inside the municipality’s systems.

Tips from colleagues

Two months later, in mid-December, the error was discovered by Selvaag calling for a refund.

Asker municipality contacted the man, who understood that he had to repay the amount. Unfortunately, he had long ago invested almost all the money – 1,750,000 – in shares that had since plummeted.

The municipality reported the case to the police, who questioned the Asker man.

He has always explained that he thought the money was a start-up loan to buy a home, something he had applied for in October. Colleagues had advised him to invest the amount in shares to achieve a return until the home purchase was in place.

The police did not believe the man, and last week the case ended up in court. There, police attorney Hanna Nestvold Kanestrøm asked for one year and three months in prison for aggravated embezzlement.

Acquitted by the court

Due to several circumstances in the case, including that the man has not gone to school in Norway, the court believes it is likely that he has limited knowledge of how loan agreements are entered into.

Therefore, the judges also do not believe that it can be proven that the bus driver acted with intent to embezzle money when he invested the amount in shares. The man was acquitted.

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The man is nevertheless sentenced to repay the full amount within two weeks, something he has not denied that he is obliged to do.

TV 2 is not aware of the man’s financial situation today, but Asker municipality stated in January that he had lost NOK 1,213,692.

TV 2 has not succeeded in getting a comment from the man’s defender, lawyer Peder Morset.