Ex. Saab Automobile AB managers will be prosecuted

Reading an article  from P4 Väst and from Ttela paper that prosecutors at the Vänersborg Court have pulled charges against Jan-Åke Jonsson, Kristina Geers and some other ex. manager at Saab Automobile.

The prosecutors claim that crime s has been committed between march and april 2011 6 months before the bankruptcy. Johnsson and Geers plus a third person have made arrangements regarding an import and sales network agreement in Ukraine. False invoices have be worked with by the third prosecuted person who was in charge for that “operation”.

Close to 31 million SEK in two bogus invoices.

Geers is prosecuted for coarse forgery and misrepresentation. in changes in the annual reports for both Saab Automobile AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB a crime if convicted could render up to 6 years imprisonment.

Both Jonsson and Geers claim they have not committed s crime. Both say that they have signed the agreement, Geers claim she has diffuse memories of the agreement but she says she dis sign it. Jonsson claims he had no knowledge of the company in question in Ukraine.

IMPORTANT! This prosecution has NOTHING to do with the NEVS AB company.

More to come as this story develops.

52 thoughts on “Ex. Saab Automobile AB managers will be prosecuted”

  1. So was this Muller staff? It has nothing to do with NEVS, except perhaps if Muller’s staff wasn’t crooked, more money could have been spent on helping the company to succeed instead of lining the pockets of greedy executives. If Muller’s Saab had succeeded, we wouldn’t be suffering through NEVS.

    • That you don’t know who they are or how long they were associated with Saab shows why you shouldn’t really be expressing such strong opinions.

      Anyone who knows Saab and knows the character of Jan-Ake and Kristina would know that there has to be more to this story than what’s been rushed to the papers.

      • I wanted to answer him in the same line as you, but I think it’s better if somebody that did know Kristina Geers and JAJ answers Angelo.

        @Angelo, don’t give your opinion on everything, sometimes its too obvious that you don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Red: I take it you know what you’re talking about? Then enlighten us: Were they framed? Is it a big misunderstanding? That might be the case—-if you have inside information, please go to the authorities with it to help them show that there’s more to the story and they are not guilty of wrong-doing.

      • I know U.S. law but admittedly, not Swedish law. Here, people are supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty.” If it’s the same in Sweden, than I apologize and rescind my statement. However, “Will be proscecuted” is much harsher than anything I said. Red J.: Everyone who has ever embezzled, committed fraud, led Ponzi schemes…and done other white collar crimes—every single one of them had people—-friends, family members, acquaintances, who swore up and down that “He/She couldn’t possibly do that.” So save the “I knew them, Angelo doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” response. I am willing to say I was wrong for implying guilt before a trial—-but on the other hand, “Will be prosecuted” means at least somebody has a different opinion of them than you do. I guess like everything else Saab, we need to “wait and see.” Sometimes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. We’ll see if that’s true in this case.

        • I see your point. However, this case has a prologue where the same prosecutor has made allegations that has been proven to be false in a court of law 2 months ago, and whats’s worse, the prosecutor has not seem to admitted any wrongdoing in that part yet. Admittedly, It isn’t any proof, but it definitely raises suspicion.

          There is one thing about Swedish prosecutors liability, they are almost never (like have never seen it) hold accountable for wrongdoings, which means that doing these things is unfortunately risk free for the prosecutor even if totally wrong.

          • Mair: Prosecutors aren’t always able to prove their case well enough to win. That’s true in the U.S. and I guess in Sweden. Just because a Prosecutor doesn’t win a case—–it doesn’t mean they should be punished for trying the case. If we had that standard, a lot of people would be getting away with a lot of bad things. In this case, I was wrong to assume guilt, particularly without knowing as much about the accused—-as others here, including Swade. I will again say, the evidence is what we should be looking at the most—-not the prosecutors record or how nice the accused people are. What matters is evidence, which I’m assuming will be presented in court. People are wrong for jumping to conclusions either way—-and also, for denying the verdict. If these people are found not guilty, which is what I hope the case is—-I will be very happy to say I am glad I jumped to the wrong conclusion and that good people were not guilty of a crime. On the other hand, for those defending them on this board—-if they are found guilty, will their defenders say, “I’m very surprised that they did this.” Or, will we hear, “The courts and prosecutor had it out for them, they were innocent and they were railroaded.” It works both ways, jumping to conclusions and not being open to the possibility that we are wrong.

            • If the prosecutor is too dense between the ears to realise that a consultant can act as an interim CEO, then YES, that prosecutor needs to step down.

              That was the extent of the first case brought against KG which the prosecutor naturally lost quite spectaculary.

              I agree that prosecutors sometimes/always need to be tough, but I do not agree that it is okay for them to be stupid.

            • The difference here is making a bad judgement (which of course a prosecutor must be allowed to do) and not following the proper legal procedure or stretching it far beyond reason. In the first case I would say that the prosecutor was likely stretched the boundaries, maybe even outside, of the law by the detention in May 2013 and how the investigation was performed. In this later case it seems that the prosecutor so far skipped over a, by law required, formal step when filing the charges to the court, i.e. let the defense formally review and request additional investigations (the prosecutor is not required to do additional investigation, but must formally respond to it). Unfortunately, Swedish courts are know to be lax about such things.

        • You could have left it at “I apologize and rescind my statement”.

          “Will be prosecuted” is just a quote from Jörgen’s headline. It’s no more definitive on his part as it is a defence on yours. The situation is that they’ve been charged and will undergo legal proceedings where, yes, they have the presumption of innocence. They haven’t been prosecuted. A case will be prosecuted and it’ll either be sustained or thrown out.

          My beef was your jumping to the conclusion that they were “Muller’s staff” and that they were “crooked”. Jan-Ake Jonsson preceded Muller at Saab by more than 30 years and Kristina Geers by plenty, too. Your suggestion that they lined their own pockets – they were about as senior as executives get – was ill-informed, baseless and insulting. They were both dedicated Saab people and anyone who saw the work that they did (or met them, yes) would find it very difficult to believe that they would deliberately do what these preliminary newspaper reports allege that they’ve done.

          Bottom line: based on their records and known character, they’re more than worthy of support and good faith while proceedings take place.

          • Just let me know when this case gets dismissed, too. Says more about the Swedish government and their attitude than about Saab management.

            Just a thought.

            • +1 and the Swedish government will probably try and change the laws in order to win, if the case goes to court. In Sweden we have (Demokratur), a mix of democracy and dictatorship.

    • I would be shocked if Mr. Muller and Mr. Antonov were not guilty of, at best, what most would consider immoral business practices. I think their history shows that their personal finances do very well while other stakeholders in their businesses are sometimes burned. Charisma and charm can too often mask unpleasant business ethics. On the other hand, I hope that Jonsson and Geers are given their chance in court and shown to be either innocent or at worst, as having some minimal involvement in any conspiracy. If there was an attempt to defraud the company through this Ukrainian deal I would see it as precisely the sort of thing that Muller & Antonov would do to pad their wallets as both have experience in conducting such deals and coming out wealthier while others are left holding the bag, e.g. M. with Saab and Spyker, and A. with his former bank. I think a court case would well to help clear up the fog around Saab’s bailouts regardless of the outcome of such an event, and I therefor hope it proceeds so that any thieves are pointed out and any innocents are absolved. I do hope Mr. Jonsson is one of the latter.

      • VA and VM were hoping to score big, yes, but… The timing is off. Around the time when KG supposedly falsified documents VM and VA were actively pursuing ways of _injecting_ money into Saab Automobile. VA wanted to be recognized as a stakeholder and offered a good size cash injection in return. SweGov declined.

        The prosecutor has already demonstrated that he is too lazy to do the legwork of a proper investigation and just keep throwing sh-t around hoping it will stick.

      • We see that in the U.S. too, particularly with green energy/alternative energy start-ups or companies. Seems as though the principals walk away with bundles of cash in their hands and more cash bursting the seams of their pockets—-while others are left in the poor house. And yes, sometimes the carnival barking front man is the type that gives appearances of wealth, success, lofty goals and sweeping, dramatic visions of bringing everyone with him to the promised land—-and he steps off the boat first, then pushes it back away from the dock and the tide takes it out to see, never to be seen again. I’m not saying that Vic or his associates were/are guilty of that, but like you Blairrob, I do wonder where the cash went.

  2. An article at SVT.se indicate that this has happened very fast, and, if I interpret JAJs lawyer correctly, JAJ has not been allowed time to give his side of the story, which at least is the intention of Swedish law, before this was filed at the court, i.e. don’t check a good story.

    This gives the impression that this is just a way to avoid admitting error in the previous strange bookkeeping allegations, you know the one that totally vaporized when a higher court deemed the transactions perfectly legal, an thus implying that reflecting these transactions correctly as criminal in the book can’t possibly fly.

  3. Of course, I do not know them personally, but this seems very hard to believe that Mr. Jonsson and Ms. Geers would knowingly be a part of something like this.

    • Agreed, Jan-Åke Jonsson always came across as a quite trustworthy and solid type of person, almost exemplary. So I also find that impossible to believe.

    • I suppose it might be possible that they were put under duress in some way to carry out certain actions. Threats might have been applied, but equally an appeal to team solidarity can often persuade very well-meaning people to do incomprehensible things. Of course I have no idea.

    • I completely agree. In fact, I more likely consider this matter as the Swedish jutice is now going to digest the causa “Saab” and ask Mr. Jonsson and Ms. Geers on, so far, unclear aspects rather they accuse them. I remember the statements of Mr. Jonsson and think he is a very honorable and great Saab-man! I dont know Ms. Geers but the way I see it that these two great person fought for Saab, and, thus, also for us who love Saab cars. Thats why I am thankful to both of them and dont judge them.

      However, I do partially share Angelos V.’s feeling of frustration that Saab finally ended as NEVS and could not restart as the company we all wished to see. Nevertheless, as far as I can tell, the fail was not the mistake of either of this two honorable persons.

      • And further, if these two people were pressured to do something illegal—-if they did these things under duress—then perhaps the prosecutor leaning on them is an attempt to dig deeper. I will say this in their defense: In the U.S. at least—if money is spent on an investigation that turns up nothing—often prosecutors will go after bit players just to justify the investigation and the money spent on it. These two might just be victims of that sort of thing—-investigation swings and misses—-prosecutor goes back for a clean sweep and gets these two for something that wasn’t even being investigated in the first place???

        • From my understanding I would say that Swedish prosecutors are significantly more likely to behave that way than US prosecutors. But it’s not at all about money spent in Sweden, it’s more about fessing up.

  4. I feel bad for the Swedes, paying such high taxes and knowing that these are the kinds of things millions of their dollars are being spent on. A wild goose chase if I’ve ever seen one.

    • I just watched it Nicholas. Wow—-Claudia Schifer is the type of neighbor I’d like to have at “one of my mansions.” And the yacht is gorgeous. I don’t demonize the rich—-I love the rich. Spending money on private jets, yachts, huge, beautiful homes, vacations, etc., keeps people employed and keeps the world economies churning. I do have a problem though, with people who sink companies through mismanagement (or bad luck, whatever) but who somehow escape unscathed—and continue to throw cash around as though they’ve succeeded—-when in fact, the only thing they’ve succeeded at is staying a few steps ahead and protecting their personal wealth, while companies and thousands of employees sunk like bricks on their watch.

  5. In the US, you can only be tried once for a criminal charge, so if the Swedish courts already determined that the allegations had no merit, then how can the charges be filed yet again? Or is double-jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime) permitted in some cases in Sweden?

    Often, a situation involving financial malfeasance is multifaceted and complicated, so even if one set of charges are dismissed by the court, there may be other charges that still can be pursued. Of course, a charge does not equal guilt, so there will likely be a preliminary hearing to determine if there is a basis for going to trial. That is likely where the courts threw out the initial charges and likely where they would dismiss these recent charges if they have no merit.

    There has been such a tortured road for Saab in its various iterations over the past several years. It would be nice for this to all be water under the bridge. I guess it really is anyway.

    • The first case touched on Muller’s salary. VM was a consultant based abroad and hence not subject to Swedish taxation. The Swedish tax authorities then claimed that to work as a CEO (even a temporary one) you have to be a regular employee, hence based in Sweden and subject to Swedish taxes. They embarked on a fishing expedition and took it all the way to the high court and lost.

      So, with one loss in the bag, what is the logical thing to do? Well, Saab Automobile AB happens to be the biggest bankruptcy in Sweden, so naturally the prosecutor goes digging again and manages to find a discrepancy and launches another fishing expedition (at no cost to himself, the taxpayers float his bills).

      Expanding Saab’s business east was mentioned several times in 2010. There was even talk of starting a factory in Russia. It comes as no surprise to me that they also had plans to set up a distributor in Ukraine. What happened to that money however is a different question (and one worth looking into), but I see no reason to suspect KG + JÅJ of any wrongdoings.

      The prosecutor has demonstrated a fundamental lack of research skills and he will face defeat once more.

      The only question is: how much incompetency will the Swedish people accept? The prosecutor is on the taxpayers’ payroll and should show some respect for the people he serves.

      • Rune: Is there any chance at all that they were guilty of wrongdoing? If the courts happen to find that they did something wrong—-are you going to deny it and say the verdict is wrong—or are you open to at least a possibility that there were improprieties?

        • Of course there is a chance of foul play here.

          That said… The first court case was doomed from the start. This one seems to hinge on KG’s own testimony, and she simply says “don’t remember”. Plus: Where did the money go? The accused do not seem to be rolling in the green, so… As long as the prosecutor can’t figure out where the money went, how does he stand a chance of scoring a guilty verdict? I.e.: Fishing expedition.

          (FWIW: When reading up on the trademark issue, I found KG’s lack of knowledge on that subject matter interesting. Her predecessor was queried as well with similar results. Saab’s legal staff may have been a bit on the light side – plus there may have been a culture of misspending money, e.g. the NG 9-5 launch events were perhaps money not well spent. In the grand scheme of things, 3 million euros is not a big lump of money and KG’s attention was doubtless elsewhere at the time. I think there is every reason to believe that the money was scammed away, but prosecuting the people who were fooled seems like a bad strategy if the goal is to retrieve that money or punish the scammers)

          • If KG has been with Saab “plenty” of years (as stated in one of the posts above), you would think through osmosis, she might have picked up a few things and not have a lack of knowledge as you put it—on that subject. Oh well, maybe my expectations are too high?

            • Perhaps a tad high yes.

              #1: Lots of important things happened around this timeframe
              #2: KG may have put too much trust in her colleague(s)… Is that a crime? (if so, then you are basically asking her to do not only her job but also the job of the people around her)
              #3: We do not really know that the money has been misappropriated. Just because the prosecutor can’t locate the money does not imply that it was actually embezzled. (see point about lazines on the part of the prosecutor)

              IANAL though and I can only draw on my own experience as a systems developer. The code I wrote in 2011 is completely unknown to me now. I do not know if lawyers have similar blank spots, but if they do, then KG’s answers are quite acceptable IMO.

              • No, you’re right. If it’s a matter of her not knowing her colleagues were committing crimes, that’s not a crime on her part. She wasn’t paid to figure that out.

        • About the first allegations, it’s 100% certain that there were no wrongdoings, because the allegations where that they were covering up an illegal transaction. The court has ruled that the transaction was perfectly legal, which makes it obvious that the action of inserting the perfectly legal transaction into the books isn’t criminal – actually, the truth is that it would be illegal to knowingly do as the prosecutor said they should have done.

  6. I don’t understand the charges. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are looking for the source of 30 million SEK that came INTO Saab, not out of Saab. From the WSJ:

    Mr. Sahlgren said that although he has found evidence that Saab collected the money, he hasn’t been able to trace its origin. “No one can say who made the payments,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

    Why is this so important? They have got the money; who cares that much about who paid it into Saab? Just a big witch hunt for the purpose of persecuting JAJ and Kristina if you ask me.

  7. At the exchange rate going at the time that would be a fairly insignificant £300,000 I cant see the people mentioned risking everything for that kind of money. Amounts expressed in Krona always seem substantial when expressed in currency units that have some real value (as in buying power) then one Krona seems to be an insubstantial amount, at today’s exchange rate it is around 7.8 pence, I cant think of anything that 7.8 pence will actually buy.

    Why don’t the Swedes have a “New Krona” with a value 10 times the Old Krona?

  8. It would help i i read the heading properly, 31 million Krona was around Three million pounds, that more like a sum of money, still it still looks like a “Witch Hunt”

  9. Given this quote from the WSJ

    “Mr. Sahlgren said that although he has found evidence that Saab collected the money, he hasn’t been able to trace its origin. “No one can say who made the payments,” he told The Wall Street Journal.”

    and the moneys country of origin, I’m going to take a wild guess that Mr. Sahlgren is still trying to get something on VM and VA and doesn’t care whose reputations he sullies on his quest.

    @GrumpyGriffen, You’re one order of magnitude off, at the ~ $.15 rate in 2011 it is about US $4.65 million.

  10. Seems like a personal crusade now. The chief prosecutor (wow how big it sounds) cant allow himself to not find a thing on JÅJ and others. Its like a status thing in those “corridors of power”.

  11. New article in ttela.se ( http://ttela.se/ekonomi/1.4286929-saabtopparna-anlitar-stjarnadvokater ) with an interview with KGs lawyer, this is an very strong statement to come from a lawyer pre-trial:

    “- And I have already seen evidence that the Prosecutor brought criminal charges for is not true. Far from the last thing has been said in this case, hardly even the first word.”

    Note that this is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in Sweden that is implying, on the record, that the prosecutor may not have followed proper legal procedure.

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.