From Iceland — Prosecutor's Investigation Into The Zuist Organization's Finances Completed

Prosecutor’s Investigation Into The Zuist Organization’s Finances Completed

Published June 9, 2020

Nico Borbely
Photo by

District attorney Ólafur Þór Hauksson confirms that his colleagues’ investigation into the finances of the Zuist Organisation have been completed, RÚV reports. He says it will now be up to the prosecutor whether a charge will be issued, the case dropped, or further investigation required.

The religious organisation filed a lawsuit against the Icelandic government after the district commissioner of the northeastern region withheld their payments.

Brothers Einar and Ágúst Arnar Ágústsson have been the spokespeople for the Zuist Organisation in Iceland. They have sometimes been blamed for controversial fundraising on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which was discussed five years ago on the Icelandic talk show Kastljós.

Einar was later charged with extensive embezzlement and currency violations.

Among other things, he was blamed for getting Icelanders to pay over 70 million ISK to the holding company Skajaquoda. Prosecutor’s arguments for the lawsuit stated that, among other things, he had used the US news report 60 Minutes to sell Icelanders the idea of investing in the fund.

He was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment in the Reykjanes District Court three years ago, which was upheld in the Court of Appeal. The Court stated that his offenses had been determined, organized, and premeditated long prior, and he did not deserve any clemency based on extenuating circumstances.

It was stated today in the legal publication Lögbirtingablað that Einar has started a restaurant management company. He himself is the director and manages the finances. His brother Ágúst is a deputy.

As reported, the Zuist organization had already come under state scrutiny last year, when its legitimacy as a religious organisation was called into question. Legally recognized religious organizations in Iceland are funded by taxpayer fees, which Ágúst had pledged to return to all Zuist members, but had failed to do so.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!