Three Former Saab Execs Arrested on Tax Evasion Charges

By Trevor Dorchies | May 21, 2013
If you were at the top of the executive food chain back when the now-defunct Saab was still making vehicles, then your week didn't get off on the right foot. Former Saab CEO Jan-Aake Jonsson, Chief Financial Officer Karl-Gustav Lindstroem, and former general counsel Kristina Geers were all arrested in an accounting-fraud probe. All three were questioned about the "grave attempts to complicate tax controls" during 2010 and 2011 but were later released. Jonsson, Lindstroem, and Geers are all still considered to be primary suspects. The center of this investigation revolves around incidents that occurred before Saab folded back in December of 2011. Saab had received a second life after being purchased by Spyker from General Motors and skated along for about two years before running into trouble. National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, owned in large part by a Chinese firm, purchased what was left of Saab in August of 2012 but has been relatively quiet ever since. "We are all very shocked how this is being handled," Bengt-Erik Sik, who is representing Geer, said to Automotive News. Attempts for comment from both Helena Wising, Jonsson's lawyer, and Bo Ahlenius, who is representing Lindstroem, were declined or unavailable, respectively.
"We will evaluate the questioning from yesterday and after that the people will be subject to further questioning and this afternoon I will decide whether to keep them in custody or release them," Olof Sahlgren, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority's chief prosecutor said to Automotive News. "It's about accounting measures to complicate the control operation of the tax authority regarding the calculation of taxes and fees." Currently, Jonsson has tax-fraud charges being brought against him and, if convicted, he could face a minimum sentence of six months behind bars. The maximum penalty for tax-fraud in Sweden is four years. Lindstroem and Geers remain primary suspects, as well, but no charges have been brought against them yet. This situation is a fluid one, so stay tuned. Source: Automotive News (subscription required)