GLOBAL REGULATION: Paradise Papers land famed Swedish author in court for Malta tax evasion.

As published on theshiftnews.com, Tuesday 2 May, 2023.

Famed Swedish mystery and thriller author Håkan Nesser is to face court proceedings for withdrawing over €1.3 million from companies he registered in Malta without reporting it to the Swedish tax authorities.

Nesser and another unnamed person were charged with aggravated tax evasion while his business advisor is charged with aiding and abetting aggravated tax evasion.

Swedish prosecutors believe the defendants knew that the companies in Malta were active and that large dividends had been made.

It is alleged that over three years, Nesser withdrew over €1.3 million from companies in Malta.

Nesser’s company in Malta had been revealed in 2017 as part of the Paradise Papers. Ensuing investigations by the Swedish tax authorities showed large amounts of money were transferred from the companies in Malta to Sweden.

In 2018, Nesser explained that he set up the companies in Malta while living abroad because it was financially advantageous and insisted he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

“I’m lousy at finances. Others take care of it for me. Which, of course, does not mean that I am free from moral responsibility,” he told Swedish media outlet SVT.

After SVT’s investigation, the Swedish Tax Agency initiated an investigation into Nesser’s companies and in November 2019 he and another person were required to pay around €700,000 in taxes.

Last summer, Nesser was charged with aggravated tax evasion and his business advisor was charged with aiding and abetting aggravated tax evasion by assisting Nesser with his tax returns.

A Swedish Economic Crime prosecutor was quoted as saying it was irrelevant under Swedish law whether Nesser hired someone else to handle his tax returns.

“The defendants have a far-reaching responsibility for submitting correct information to the Swedish Tax Agency, which they are obliged to check themselves.

“Annual reports have been signed, dividends have been paid and the money has gone into Swedish accounts. This cannot have escaped any of those involved,” she told SVT.

Nesser meanwhile denies any wrongdoing and insists that both the company in Malta and the dividends sent to Sweden were done on the advice of his business advisors and that he had no intention of committing any crime.

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