Swedish IT company founders cleared of fraud

Five people have been freed of all charges relating to the bankruptcy of IT company Prosolvia, which collapsed in 1998 amid charges of fraud.

Dan Lejerskär and Morgan Herou, founders of Prosolvia, along with financial chief, Magnus Svernlöv, and company accountant, Nils Brehmer, were charged with false book-keeping and deception in an attempt to raise the value of the company’s shares on the stock market.

According to DN, chief prosecutor Per Lind and his colleague Anette Olsson could not prove the case against Prosolvia so the entire case collapsed.

Prosolvia rode the crest of the early IT-boom in the mid 90s, and shares rose swiftly with the company reportedly worth over four billion kronor at its peak. However, the company went bust in December 1998 leaving thousands of shareholders shocked at the company’s rapid demise.

According to the prosecution, the company built its growth during 1997 through creative accounting. Business deals that weren’t complete or paid for were documented as complete enabling Prosovia to allegedly make a 36 million kronor deficit look like a profit of 80 million kronor.

In response to Monday’s court-ruling Dan Lejerskär, who has lived in the USA since the company went bankrupt, said through his attorney, Jonas Lauritzen, that he was always “convinced he would be cleared” once the court heard Prosolvia’s account of things.

Meanwhile, prosecutors Per Lind and Anette Olsson do not rule out appealing against the court’s decision. “We haven’t had a chance to analyse the court’s ruling yet.”

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, SR

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Few Swedish firms have social media policy: survey

Only seven percent of Swedish firms operate a formal policy for how employees may use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter during working hours.

The equivalent figure for the rest of the world is 20 percent, according to the new survey conducted by staffing firm Manpower.

“In Sweden it is perhaps part of a more general IT policy. Perhaps we see social media as more of an opportunity than a problem. Perhaps business culture in Sweden places more responsibility on the individual,” Hans Makander a Manpower Sweden told The Local on Thursday.

Many firms express concern over the use of social media and its impact on staff productivity. There is also a concern that sensitive information could leak out, according to the survey of 34,000 companies worldwide.

“Companies need to find ways to capitalise on social media in their operations. A formal policy for the use of external social media can be fine, but it should not be used to control staff,” Manpower Sweden CEO Peter Lundahl said in a company statement.

Hans Makander told The Local that he recognises the discussion in that which met the arrival of the photocopier, fax machine and mobile telephones.

“It takes some time to establish what can be done with the new technologies, and what is okay to do privately at work; but after a while it settles down,” he said.

The survey also asked employees across the world in what areas social media could be applied to boost company performance. The largest benefit was within brand development, the report shows.

Manpower recommends firms to also make use of social media to develop new methods for teamwork, stimulate commitment among employees, and for recruitment purposes.