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
Police Want Authority To Spy On Citizens

Police Want Authority To Spy On Citizens

by

The Icelandic police want the authority to “gather information” on individuals they deem a threat to public safety; the qualifications

News
No “Special Treatment” For Convicted Bankers

No “Special Treatment” For Convicted Bankers

by

Director of the Icelandic Prison Service Páll Winkel wants the general public to know that the convicted Kaupthing bankers will

News
Sigur Rós To Re-issue Ágætis Byrjun

Sigur Rós To Re-issue Ágætis Byrjun

by

To mark its 16th birthday, Sigur Rós have announced that an expanded limited edition boxset of Ágætis Byrjun is in

News
Iceland Is Shrinking

Iceland Is Shrinking

by

New aearial measurements from Loftmyndir ehf. show that Iceland’s landmass is smaller than previously thought, reports Viðskiptablaðið. Iceland is currently 102.775 km2,

News
Emergency Room Struggling To Cope

Emergency Room Struggling To Cope

by

The emergency room in Iceland’s National University Hospital is struggling to cope with the demand for services, contra the resources

News
Local Woman Got Horse Meat In Steak Sandwich

Local Woman Got Horse Meat In Steak Sandwich

by

Local woman, Þórdís Lilja Bergs, and Kringlukráin restauranteur, Sophus Sigþórsson, are battling over semantics after she was given a steak

Show Me More!