‘I regret having a company in Malta’ – Swedish author acquitted of tax evasion

Acclaimed Swedish mystery and thriller writer Håkan Nesser says he “regrets having a company in Malta at all,” after he was acquitted of withdrawing over €1.3 million from companies he registered in Malta without reporting 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.

The Shift recently reported that Swedish prosecutors charged the defendants for knowing the companies in Malta were active, that large dividends had been made and that they were not being reported to the Swedish tax authorities.

It was 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 when he moved back to the country from the US and the UK where he had been residing.

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

In comments to the Swedish press this week, Nesser says “It has felt like a low-intensity nightmare. There are worse problems in the world, I understand that, but it has been a tough period.”

A district court has now acquitted him of tax evasion but found that the money from Malta should have been declared. Nesser paid around €675,000 in residual taxes. The court found that the errors were due to the negligence of his financial adviser, who was also acquitted.

Nesser says of the development of his Maltese company, “My advisor suggested that it was time to have a company in Malta. It was mainly because you benefit from it and because I was not liable to pay tax in Sweden in those years.

“When we moved home, I thought the tax had been paid and everything was ready. Actually, it is one small mistake that caused it all.”

Nesser says that he has been angry but, in the end, he accepted that he has done wrong.

The headlines about suspected tax evasion have been more difficult: “It sounds silly, but I stand in solidarity with Swedish tax policy. The tax authorities get scammed by professionals, over and over again.

“When it came down to it, I understood that I should have declared this money and that it was a mistake. I’ve been a little burned by it all but with some justification because you should not have companies in other places.”

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
A. Fan
A. Fan
4 months ago

Another unlikely tale of woe. Clever enough to concoct strories that brought in millions; but too dumb to know when something sounded too good to be true. Curious how these ‘morally fluid’ types are drawn to Malta…

Richard Slater
Richard Slater
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Fan

or that i tried, was caught and now wont go to prison or pay the fine, but just what I owe, A district court has now acquitted him of tax evasion but found that the money from Malta should have been declared. Nesser paid around €675,000 in residual taxes.

Related Stories

Chamber wants budget to tackle change towards sustainable economic model
The Malta Chamber – Malta’s largest representative body of
No cuts expected in stipend ‘reform’ as cost reaches €33 million
A student stipend ‘reform’, which Prime Minister Robert Abela

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo