Men cleared in record insider trading case

Two men at the centre of Sweden’s biggest ever insider trading case have been sentenced to two years in jail for tax crimes, but have been cleared on the main charges of insider trading.

Men cleared in record insider trading case

The men, Andreas Hofmann and Ossian Hellers, known in the Swedish media as the Nordea Man and the Cevian Man respectively, were said to be thrilled by Stockholm District Court’s verdict:

“He was absolutely delighted, he just screamed out loud,” said Hofmann’s lawyer Hans Strandberg.

The court lifted a freeze on the men’s assets and ordered that the state reimburse their legal costs of about 10 million kronor ($1.3 million).

The court ruled that the prosecution had proven that the men “had given rise to a risk that tax of approximately 5 million and 8.5 million kronor would be withheld,” but said that the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence to secure convictions on insider trading charges.

Four other men standing trial on lesser charges were found not guilty on all counts.

The insider case concerned share transactions in about twenty listed companies. Prosecutors claimed that the deals had been carried out on the basis of insider information and had brought profits of over 100 million kronor. The case against the men relied heavily on intercepted phone calls, which according to prosecutors showed that the accused had exchanged information on future events that would affect share prices.

When the men were arrested in the spring of 2007, police discovered almost half a million kronor in cash underneath the stuffing in a child’s car seat at Andreas Hofmann’s home.

The men have already been ordered by the Stockholm Administrative Court to pay six million kronor in penalty taxes as punishment for long delays in paying tax on share deals carried out in 2005. The men have appealed the decision to the Stockholm Administrative Court of Appeals.

“Criminal cases generally have a very high burden of proof. The prosecution has not managed to match those requirements,” Judge Christer Thornefors told news agency TT.

“The prosecution built their case primarily on circumstantial evidence. They have presented serious evidence on many points, but it was not enough,” he said.

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime