Embezzlement charges for fundraisers with Islamic focus
Frankfurt -- Three men who raised funds for a charity with an Islamic focus have been indicted in Germany for embezzling millions of euros, prosecutors in Frankfurt said Wednesday.
The Turkish-born men are alleged to have removed 18.6 million euros ($29.7 million) in cash from the bank accounts of German-registered association Deniz Feneri. Prosecutors said some of the cash was smuggled to Turkey.
The charity raised foreign-relief funds among well-off Turkish communities on a Deniz Feneri television program. The title means lighthouse. Advertisements on the Internet, in the press and on a Dutch-based television channel Euro 7 used images of suffering in Turkey, Pakistan and other nations, prosecutors said.
Police established that donations to Deniz Feneri from early 2002 until the end of April 2007, when an inquiry into the charity became public, had totaled 41 million euros.