Three former Saab execs held on tax charges

Former CEO and CFO questioned in accounting fraud investigation

Wed, May 22, 2013, 16:11

Three former Saab Automobile executives, including former Chief Executive Officer Jan-Aake Jonsson and Chief Financial Officer Karl-Gustav Lindstroem, were arrested by Swedish prosecutors in an accounting-fraud probe.

Three people were questioned yesterday on suspicion of “grave attempts to complicate tax controls” during 2010 and 2011.

Court documents filed in Vaenersborg indicate Jonsson, Lindstroem and Saab’s former general counsel Kristina Geers were detained. The suspects were released today after questioning and are still under suspicion.

The probe focuses on incidents before Saab filed for bankruptcy in December 2011, almost two years after it was purchased by Dutch supercar-maker Spyker.

Spyker, which bought Saab from General Motors, was forced to halt production due to a lack of cash before the insolvency. “It’s about accounting measures to complicate the control operation of the tax authority regarding the calculation of taxes and fees,” Sahlgren said.

Bengt-Erik Sik, Geers’s lawyer, denied the accusations and said: “we are all very shocked how this is being handled.” Helena Wising, Jonsson’s lawyer, said earlier she was on her way to meet her client. Lindstroem’s lawyer, Bo Ahlenius, was not immediately available to comment.

Accounting fraud carries a minimum prison sentence of six months and a maximum sentence of four years.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB bought Saab out of bankruptcy in August.

Bloomberg