Tycoon Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson Guilty Of Tax Evasion

Published February 7, 2013

The Supreme Court of Iceland ruled today that ex-Baugur boss Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson was guilty of tax evasion for filing erroneous tax returns on 172 million ISK of earnings and also convicted him on several counts of tax irregularities related to Baugur.
Also convicted alongside Jón Ásgeir were his sister, Kristin Jóhannesdóttir, and former Baugur employee Tryggvi Jónsson, The Telegraph reports. Jóhannesson received a 12-month suspended sentence and was fined 62 million ISK, Kristín received a 3-month suspended sentence, and Tryggvi was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and was fined 32 million ISK.
“All the defendants are found guilty of a major infringement of tax laws. In determining the penalty for their actions, the delay in the case proceedings has to be taken into consideration,” the presiding justice said.
For his part, Jón Ásgeir called the size of the fines “peanuts” and, following the ruling, said “They didn’t find the big crime they wanted and nobody goes to jail,” Reuters reports.
Further legal battles await Jón Ásgeir in relation to his involvement as the largest shareholder in failed bank Glitnir. He stands accused of improperly influencing the bank regarding a loan of 1.2 billion GBP granted to Baugur just prior to the financial collapse. For this charge prosecutors are seeking six years imprisonment.
This is not the first time that Jón Ásgeir has faced legal woes. He and his father, Jóhannes Jónsson, were charged with 40 counts of tax and accounting irregularities, fraud and embezzlement in 2005. In 2007 he was found guilty of breaching book-keeping rules.
Baugur was an investment company that was founded by Jón Ásgeir and his father, Jóhannes, with the establishment of the supermarket chain Bónus in 1989. Over the years the Baugur Group acquired Hagkaup, and franchised or acquired majority holding of several large brands, like Karen Millen, Debenhams, Top Shop, and Hamleys, among others. They also controlled 365 media company, which owns six television channels, five radio stations, one newspaper (Fréttablaðið), and five periodicals.
While Baugur Group went bust in 2009 (under a spiderweb of circumstances typical to the financial collapse that cannot be summarized here), one of its arms, Baugur-Iceland, continues to exist today under the name Hagar and manages many of ex-Baugur’s retail holdings.


News
Afghan Family Who Fled Taliban To Be Deported

Afghan Family Who Fled Taliban To Be Deported

by

A family of seven, who fled persecution from the Taliban for a better life in Iceland, will be deported to

News
Election 2016: Pirate Party Receives Mandate To Form Coalition Government

Election 2016: Pirate Party Receives Mandate To Form Coalition Government

by

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced just moments ago that he gave Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir the mandate to form

News
Sushi Samba Cannot Call Itself Sushi Samba Anymore

Sushi Samba Cannot Call Itself Sushi Samba Anymore

by

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Icelandic restaurant Sushi Samba can no longer use this name, as the owners

News
Refugees & Asylum Seekers To March On Parliament Tomorrow

Refugees & Asylum Seekers To March On Parliament Tomorrow

by

Refugees and asylum seekers alike will converge on Parliament tomorrow afternoon to convey three demands: the right to work, the

News
Reykjavík Will Close Some Streets To Car Traffic For The Holidays

Reykjavík Will Close Some Streets To Car Traffic For The Holidays

by

In order to make downtown Reykjavík a more pleasant experience this holiday season, the city will be closing parts of

News
Election 2016: 5-Party Coalition Back On The Table

Election 2016: 5-Party Coalition Back On The Table

by

Talks between the Independence Party and the Left-Greens broke down today, with the latter now entering talks with the Pirate

Show Me More!