For almost one thousand years, Uppsala, the fourth largest city in Sweden was known for its piety. This ecclesiastical center of Sweden attracted religious pilgrims from far away to pray at the shrine to St. Birdget, known for her charity and honesty. In the Middle Ages, learned men from as far as Italy travelled here for an opportunity to study at Upsala University, the oldest in all of Scandinavia.
In December 2010, a respected local attorney and a graduate of Upsala University School of Law was convicted by a Swedish court of embezzlement and accounting fraud. The lawyer practiced a mile from the shrine to St. Bridget and was initially accused by one of his clients, an elderly widow, of stealing her inheritance. After a thorough police investigation, the lawyer (whose name was withheld by court order), admitted to embezzling 1.3 million Swedish Kronor ($187,485 US) from his clients.
According to his statement, all the monies were lost during long term gambling sessions. The court handed out a sentence of six months probation and mandatory enrollment in a program for gambling addiction in accordance with Swedish gambling laws. The victims’ monies were reimbursed by a Swedish insurance company, which expects the defendant to eventually repay it.