Former finance director charged in Skandia scandal

Skandia's former finance director, Ulf Spång, is facing several years in prison for serious tax fraud.

Prosecutor Christer van der Kwast began his legal action against Spång on Thursday, paving the way for the three key figures in the Skandia scandal to be tried in Stockholm district court next year.

According to van der Kwast, Spång moved over 20 million kronor from Skandia’s subsidiary in Switzerland, Skandia Leben, to a company he owned in the tax haven of Guernsey – without Skandia knowing about it.

Nor did Spång declare the amount in his 2002 tax return.

“The procedure has led to the risk of tax evasion of around 10 million kronor,” wrote van der Kwast in his application for a summons.

“The crime is serious and could result in several years’ imprisonment,” said the prosecutor to TT.

But Ulf Spång’s lawyer, Leif Gustafsson, said he did not understand why the charges had been brought against his client.

“I have a lot of respect for Christer van der Kwast as a lawyer, so I’m very surprised that he has now begun proceedings against Ulf Spång,” said Gustafsson.

“It is clearly a misjudgement of the investigation. Ulf Spång is not guilty of any crime in Sweden.”

According to Leif Gustafson, Spång was not given the correct information by Skandia Leben.

Next year, the three main players in the Skandia scandal, Ulf Spång, Lars-Eric Petersson and Ola Ramstedt, will be tried by Stockholm district court.

Christer van der Kwast has already opened legal proceedings against the former head of Skandia, Lars-Eric Petersson for two counts of “breach of trust against a principal”.

According to van der Kwast, Lars-Eric Petersson raised the company’s bonus limits for the year 1998/99 without the approval of the board. That led to at least 185 million kronor too much being paid out to those participating in the company’s Wealthbuilder programme.

In addition, he is accused of taking 37 million kronor more than the board had approved for his pension.

Ola Ramstedt, the former head of personnel at Skandia, is also accused of a breach of trust against a principal after authorising 18 million kronor-worth of luxury renovations of apartments belonging to Skandia bosses and their relatives.

TT/The Local