Disgraced German reporter could face donation fraud charges

The journalist Claas Relotius poses during an award ceremony in Munich, Germany, March 27, 2014. The German journalist who was found to have made up information for numerous published articles may be charged for allegedly soliciting donations for Syrian orphans from his readers. (Ursula Dueren/dpa via AP)

A German journalist who was found to have made up information for numerous articles may be charged for allegedly soliciting donations for Syrian orphans from his readers

BERLIN — A German journalist who was found to have made up information for numerous articles may now be charged with allegedly soliciting donations for Syrian orphans from his readers.

The German magazine Der Spiegel said Sunday that its award-winning former reporter, Claas Relotius, had asked readers by email from his private account for donations to be transferred to his personal bank account.

Der Spiegel said it's not clear how many people donated money, how much Relotius collected or what happened to the money. But the magazine said it will press charges and will work with prosecutors to find out the details.

Der Spiegel announced Wednesday that Relotius, 33, who worked first as a freelancer and later fulltime, had fabricated interviews and facts in at least 14 articles. It has since fired him.

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