Two men in their 60’s are accused of taking a total of 36 million NOK through the Tax Fund program, the largest embezzlement of its kind, ever.
The two men, who emigrated from Kristiansand to Dubai sometime in the 1990s, have been under investigation by Økokrim (economy crime) for the past three years. Now Økokrim has taken action, writes Dagens Næringsliv.
The combined 36 million NOK they are accused of stealing, was received through the Norwegian Tax Fund program for alleged research and development projects in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This tax program is intended to motivate Norwegian companies to create more research and development projects and this is funded in the form of tax deductions or outright monetary payments.
According to Økokrim, the two men founded and created a large number of companies registered in Kristiansand and applied for the Tax Fund program money for support for IT projects. According to Økokrim, these projects were never started.
“We believe that 36 million NOK has been paid, fraudulently,” says Senior Attorney General Petter Nordeng in Økokrim.
One of the men is charged for embezzling 10 million NOK, while the other is being charged with the other 26 million NOK and contributing to the embezzlement of the 10 million NOK. Økokrim believes the fraudulent payments took place every year for the past ten years from 2005.
Both of the two defendants deny guilt in the case.
“My client does not acknowledge that he has done anything wrong over the years, as what the prosecutor claims,” writes one man’s defender Sveinung Søndervik Johnsen in a text message to DN.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today