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
Second Round Of Airwaves Artists Announced

Second Round Of Airwaves Artists Announced

by

The organisers of Iceland Airwaves have just released another batch of artists to be performing at this November’s music festival.

News
New Bill Would Lower Voting Age To 16 For Municipal Elections

New Bill Would Lower Voting Age To 16 For Municipal Elections

by

A new bill, supported by MPs from every party except the Progressive Party, would if passed into law lower the

News
No Kind Of Traveling Weather Tomorrow

No Kind Of Traveling Weather Tomorrow

by

Don’t let the sunny skies and still winds in Reykjavík right now fool you: the Icelandic Met Office warns that

News
Psychiatrist Blames Women For Revenge Porn, Internet Ignites

Psychiatrist Blames Women For Revenge Porn, Internet Ignites

by

An elderly, male psychiatrist offered his opinion that women alone are to blame for the existence of revenge porn, and

News
Mývatn Being Slowly Destroyed By Tourism

Mývatn Being Slowly Destroyed By Tourism

by

Hotel owners around Mývatn and the Laxá river area profit from the location, at the expense of the preservation of

News
DILL Becomes First Icelandic Restaurant To Earn Michelin Star

DILL Becomes First Icelandic Restaurant To Earn Michelin Star

by

The restaurant DILL, lauded by Grapevine on numerous occasions, has now earned the distinction of being the first Icelandic restaurant

Show Me More!