Tax havens Indictment: Former CEO of a listed company hides his funds in Switzerland – Denys allegation of gross tax fraud

The influential director of the past years did not report gains on the sale of securities of EUR 390,000 in 2012–2014 in Switzerland, the prosecutor considers.

Shipping company Former CEO of Finnlines and former CEO of Nokia Antti Lagerroos hid its funds in Switzerland and failed to report gains on the sale of securities of EUR 390,000 in 2012-2014, according to the prosecutor. According to a report by the prosecutor and the tax administration, Lagerroos thus avoided taxes of around 88,000 euros.

According to the prosecutor, Lagerroos also failed to report 2012–2014 dividend income from listed companies in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Lagerroos denies the charge of aggravated tax fraud, which was read in the Helsinki District Court on Tuesday.

“Completely unfounded accusation,” Lagerroos said during a break in the trial on Tuesday, but he did not want to comment on the matter any further.

The prosecutor is demanding at least one year in prison for Lagerroos for failing to report capital gains in Switzerland, a tax haven.

Shipping company Lagerroos, who served as Finnlines’ CEO from 1990 to 2007, is one of the most significant former powers to be suspected of hiding funds in a tax haven. Prior to his position as CEO of the shipowner Finnlines, Lagerroos worked, among other things, as CEO of Nokia’s mobile phones.

Finnlines was on the Helsinki Stock Exchange until 2016.

Maritime Adviser Lagerroos has served as Chairman of the Board of the Amer Group and on the Boards of several listed companies, including YIT, Fortum, Wärtsilä and VR Group. He was a member of the Board of Employers EK in 2006–2007.

In years In 2012–2014, Lagerroos had already left his operational management position, but was, for example, a member of the Board of Directors of the listed company Cargotec.

Retaining funds abroad in a tax haven is not illegal, but it allows their income to be hidden. According to the tax authorities and the prosecutor, Lagerroos itself should have declared the income accrued on its foreign investment assets annually in its tax returns.

Last week and this week there has been a lively debate in Finland about the legal and illegal use of tax havens, when international journalist group ICIJ and Yle, among others, have investigated a major Pandora Papers data leak.

Helsingin Sanomat, on Saturday, said how wealthy families and entrepreneurs have been hiding their money in banks and foundations in tax havens for decades. The results of Helsingin Sanomat’s surveys do not come from Pandora’s papers.

The prosecutor and according to the tax authorities, Lagerroos has traded in securities through the Swiss bank Vontobel AG in the tax years 2012–2014, during which time he received capital gains totaling EUR 389,833.

Lagerroos did not report the resulting capital gains of approximately EUR 88,000 to the taxpayer in Finland, the prosecutor considers. According to the prosecutor, the act is aggravated because the act has sought a substantial benefit.

The act as a whole is also outrageous, for example because it has been impossible to obtain information about the country due to Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy, the prosecutor ruled in court. It is therefore a secret offered by Switzerland, a traditional tax haven.

As a witness the tax inspector consulted told the court that an international exchange of information provided them with information on Lagerroos’ EUR 2.8 million savings life insurance with a company called Lombard.

Lombard is an international company that manages the wealth of wealthy individuals.

After that, the Finnish tax administration became interested in where Lagerroos’ savings life insurance assets came from.

According to the inspector, Lagerroos’ tax return did not state any capital gains to the Swiss bank. He later told the taxpayer he was “too tired” at the time to report his Swiss gains, the inspector said in the district court.

The Defense of Lagerroos announced Tuesday that it was a human error.

Lagerroos closed his account in Switzerland after he had sold all his investments. On 21 March 2014, a total of EUR 700,000 of his money was transferred from Vontobel Bank to Lombard.

Around 2014, a debate began around tax havens that Switzerland and some other tax havens will begin to adapt to OECD requirements to eradicate tax evasion. Previously encrypted deposits and depositors threatened to be revealed.

Lagerroos’ defense on Tuesday pleaded that Lagerroos had investment losses for 2009 that could have been deducted from its 2014 capital gains. According to the tax authority, there was no such possibility.

According to Finnish standards, Lagerroos is a wealthy person because he has In the Tax Machine of Helsingin Sanomat 1999-2019 revenue totaling EUR 16.4 million.

Lagerroosin used by the Swiss bank Vontobel also emerged in the HS report on Saturday Finns in tax havens. At the time, HS asked Vontobel for comments on the advice received by a Finnish pianist to transfer hidden money from Switzerland to Thai banks.

According to Vontobel, Swiss law prohibits commenting on customer relationships. At the same time, Vontobel said the bank required all of its European customers to join the automatic exchange of information between Vontobel and its home taxpayer.

If the customer did not agree to this, the bank terminated the customer relationship at the end of 2015. At that time, however, Lagerroos’ account with Vontobel Bank had already been closed.


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