Court clears Skandia bosses

Court clears Skandia bosses
The Stockholm District Court has cleared former Skandia directors Lars-Eric Petersson and Ulf Spång from charges of tax evasion.

The pair risked prison sentences of several years if convicted as they had avoided paying taxes on a total 72 million kronor ($11.8 million) earned around the year 2000, according to the prosecutor.

The money came from the Sharetracker bonus program created by Petersson and Spång.

According to prosecutor Christer van der Kwast, the crime was committed when the pair ordered that the money be transfered from two money management firms with ties to Skandia, Global Umbrella Trust and Skandia Leben.

The money was transfered from Global Umbrella Trust to the Pepsi foundation in Liechtenstein toward the end of the 1990s.

Pepsi is owned by Petersson, Sång, and their former Skandia colleague Bo Ingemarsson.

The motivation behind the creation of Pepsi was to be able to place their millions in bonuses more freely.

But the District Court has found that the prosectuor couldn’t prove that Pepsi was created withouth Skandia’s approval, and that the funds placed in Pepsi by the accused had not been subject to the rules associated with the Sharetracker programme.

“The indictment against Petersson and Spång is hereby dismissed,” said the District Court in a statement.

Earlier, a County Administrative Court judgment raised Spång’s taxable liability by 20 million kronor. The judgment was appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeals.

Sweden’s National Tax Agency’s (Skatteverket) case against Petersson has yet to be tried in the County Administrative Court.