• Sweden edition
 
Fraud trial captivates local Swedish community
Habo Finans CEO Peter Rosendahl arrives at Jönkoping district court on Thursday

Fraud trial captivates local Swedish community

Published: 30 Sep 2010 12:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Sep 2010 12:41 GMT+02:00

Launched in 1995 by former welder Peter Rosendahl, Habo Finans later ran into difficulties in 2006 before filing for bankruptcy in 2008. Rosendahl now faces charges of serious fraud and serious accounting fraud, while the remaining five board members are accused of serious accounting fraud.

The case has attracted a great deal of interest in the small Swedish community of Habo, which was voted the "best place to live in Sweden" by Fokus magazine in 2010, as many local residents had invested with Rosendahl and Habo Finans in the hope of high returns.

A total of 780 savers are claiming 90 million kronor ($13.4 million) from the bankrupt firm, which is reported to have only 30 million kronor in assets.

Many of the savers had invested their life savings in the firm, which was shown to lack sufficient bank guarantees, or a licence from the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen - FI) to conduct trading in shares.

"I invested because acquaintances had done so and had earned dividends of 25-30 percent," said local Habo resident Bernt Olof Berntsson.

"Unfortunately it was at the cost of the later savers that they made money."

Shortly after the firm ran into difficulties, Peter Rosendahl turned himself in to Gothenburg police. Since the bankruptcy, Rosendahl has been in hiding from the former friends, neighbours and clients who had trusted his judgement on the stock market.

Until he was was tracked down recently by TV4's Kalla Fakta investigative news programme.

”The worst is when I go to bed at night, I can't relax. But that is something I will have to live with it for the rest of my life,” Rosendahl told TV4.

"It doesn't help the customers affected, but it is a way to work through it. I go through the client list again and again."

Rosendahl was working as a welder in a local Habo company in the 1990s when he developed a name for himself as something of a successful amateur share trader and decided in the mid-1990s to start a financial services firm.

”Despite the fact that I was just an ordinary metalworker, the men from the office, and everybody started to talk shares with me. It was a nice time," he said.

Habo Finans was set up with the initial intention to invest in Ericsson stock, Rosendahl said, and within a year the firm had proven popular with local residents.

”When I arrived in the morning, and people stood queuing, when I looked at the diary there were so many customers who wanted to become new investors, it was not so easy to put a stop to it,” he said, reflecting on the firm's rapid growth.

Another local investor Roger Moll told TV4 that for several years everyone in the community was talking about the firm.

"A lot of friends recommended it - it was not quite a sect, but it was very big," he told TV4.

But when some more risky investments turned sour, and clients began to withdraw their savings, the firm used new client funds to fill the hole in the accounts, ultimately forcing the firm's closure.

Bernt Olof Berntsson heads a group of investors who, aside from their demands on the bankrupted firm, are claiming damages from Habo Finans's accountants, who they claim had not fulfilled their obligations.

The case is one of the largest of its kind in Swedish history and 18 investors are scheduled to testify in the month-long trial in Jönköping District Court. Interest in the trial is so great that the court has hired a nearby cinema in order to broadcast the proceedings live.

If convicted, Peter Rosendahl is facing a prison sentence of up to 12 years, but told TV4 that he welcomes the trial in order to clear the air.

”It can't be any worse than it is now. To live in secret, to hardly be able to go out during the day..." he said.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its 'exhausted' leader back. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and his bride to be
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

978
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN