A married couple from Aabenraa wants to put an end to rumours linking them to convicted fraudster Britta Nielsen, saying they have had enough of talk that they benefit from the money that she stole from the state.
Christa and Walter Jürgensen spoke with the regional newspaper JydskeVestkysten to clarify that they were not related to Nielsen and that their grill bar, HavneGrillen, was not financed by stolen funds.
Nielsen, 66, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in February after being found guilty of serious fraud. A court ruled that she abused her position as a social services board employee by stealing 117 million kroner over 25 years – money meant for society’s most vulnerable people.
Nielsen’s case is known as one of the most serious economic crimes in Denmark, which consistently ranks as the world’s least corrupt country, according to Transparency International.
Not Britta’s sister
While the Jürgensens said that they have nothing to do with Nielsen, they lament that for two years, they have had to deal with rumours that Christa was Britta’s sister.
Christa said that they have repeatedly clarified to their customers that this was not the case. However, they got concerned when they heard talk that Nielsen’s stolen money was used for their grill bar.
“Every time I have answered ‘No, now you just have to control yourselves,’ and asked people to bring down the rumour. If it had been something else, you might have laughed at it, but it’s not fun to be linked to that case,” said Christa Jürgensen.
The Jürgensen couple said that they did not know how the rumours began, except that these started shortly after Nielsen’s arrest in South Africa in 2018.
The couple talked to the media weeks after Nielsen’s three children were sentenced to prison for having received parts of the money that their mother embezzled. A court ruled this month that the children had criminal intent as they must have realised that the money originated from crime.
All three children appealed the verdict. Their prison sentences range from one year and six months to three years and six months.