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Disgraced German reporter could face donation fraud charges

Claas Relotius asked Der Spiegel readers to send cash to his personal bank account.

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 its award-winning former reporter Claas Relotius asked readers by email from his private account for donations to be transferred to his personal bank account.

Der Spiegel said it is 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 on Wednesday that Relotius, 33, who worked first as a freelancer and later full-time, had fabricated interviews and facts in at least 14 articles. It has since fired him.