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Four charged in construction scandal

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11:45 CET+01:00
Around nine million kronor ($1.5 million) vanished in a tangle of false invoicing, between four different construction companies in western Sweden.

Authorities have now charged four people with varying financial crimes, reported local newspaper Bohusläningen.

A business owner in Uddevalla, just north of Gothenburg, is the main suspect in the ‘black-money' scandal and is accused of committing serious accounting fraud, tax evasion and serious fraud against creditors.

The Economic Crimes Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) brought the investigation after noticing a string of suspicious activity involving the same main suspect.

“He is charged in his absence for similar offences since 2010. He appears in certain cash transactions between all the companies,” Ove Jäverfelt, the prosecutor with the Economic Crimes Bureau who filed the charges, told the local newspaper.

Since April 2008 the suspect had stopped recording his company's expenses and in October filed bankruptcy.

However, during that period about 3.5 million kronor passed through the company's bank account, reported Bohusläningen.

According to the charges, some of the money was transferred to other corporate accounts, which was then sent to various private accounts. From there, the money was collected as cash.

In total the scheme involves four different construction companies, about nine million laundered kronor, a business owner and three accomplices.

“It's business with shady elements. Here they have even created black money to pay salaries,” explained Jäverfelt.

Other actions include paying false invoices across companies.

One of the suspects, a woman, is a sister to one of the assistants and she allegedly received money in an effort to make it difficult to trace the funds.

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