Prosecutor files new charges in Baugur case Skip to content

Prosecutor files new charges in Baugur case

The special prosecutor appointed in the Baugur case, Sigurdur Tómas Magnússon, has filed 19 new charges.

According to Morgunbladid, the new charges are based on 32 of the 40 charges originally filed in August of last year by Jón H. Snorrason, chief of the Economic Crimes squad of the National Police. The 32 charges were subsequently dismissed by the District Court of Reykjavík and by the Supreme Court on technical grounds.

Last month, the District Court of Reykjavík acquitted all defendants of the 8 remaining charges. The special prosecutor has appealed that verdict to the Supreme Court for 6 out of 8 charges.

According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Services, RÚV, three people are being charged under the 19 new charges. The defendants are: Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, CEO of Baugur, Tryggvi Jónsson, ex-CEO of Baugur, and Jón Gerald Sullenberger, a former business partner of Baugur.

According to RÚV, the charges relate to five separate issues. In the first instance, Jón Ásgeir is charged for fraud in connection with his dealings with Vöruveltan, a company that operated the convenience store chain 10/11 which was acquired by Baugur. Secondly, Jón Ásgeir and Tryggvi are charged for having granted illegal loans amounting to hundreds of millions of króna using Baugur funds. Thirdly, Jón Ásgeir and Tryggvi are charged with cooking Baugur’s books in order to bolster the company’s profits. The amounts involved are said to be “considerable”. Jón Gerald is also charged for having issued a phony invoice. In the fourth set of charges Jón Ásgeir and Tryggvi are charged for having made it appear that Baugur had sold shares in the company amounting to several hundred million króna to Kaupthing (KB-Bank), Luxembourg. The proceeds were then used, in part, to settle stock option agreements with Baugur managers. Finally, Jón Ásgeir and Tryggvi are charged for having made Baugur pay the costs of a recreational boat in Florida, Viking, which was unrelated to the operations of Baugur. Tryggvi is also charged for having made Baugur pay for certain personal expenses.

In a statement released by Baugur Group the company expressed its disappointment that the case was still being pursued. In a separate statement, Jón Ásgeir declared his innocence and said the new charges were “as stupid” as the original charges filed last year. According to RÚV, both Jón Ásgeir and Tryggvi intend to pursue this case before the European Court of Human Rights.

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