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Icelandic Bankers Sentenced to Prison

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Icelandic Bankers Sentenced to Prison

Former chair of Kaupþing Sigurður Einarsson.

Sigurður Einarsson. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

The Supreme Court of Iceland today upheld prison sentences issued by Reykjavík District Court in December 2013 on four former key executives and majority owners of Kaupþing Bank in the so-called Al-Thani case in what is the heaviest sentence ever given in Iceland for economic fraud, ruv.is reports. The four were charged with market manipulation in relation to Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar’s acquisition of more than five percent of shares (worth ISK 25.7 billion) in Kaupþing Bank shortly before it collapsed in autumn 2008.

The case was taken to the Supreme Court after the defendants appealed the Reykjavík District Court’s ruling.

Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former CEO of the bank, got the longest sentence at five and a half years, unchanged from the Reykjavík District Court’s ruling. Sigurður Einarsson, former chairman of the board, had his sentence reduced from five years to four while investor, and one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, Ólafur Ólafsson, had his sentence lengthened from 3.5 years to 4.5 years and Magnús Guðmundsson, director of Kaupþing Luxembourg, got 4.5 years instead of 3 years.

Hreiðar must also pay ISK 25 million (USD 190,000, EUR 167,000) in Supreme Court defense fees and 33.4 million in District Court defense fees, Sigurður ISK 14 million in each, Ólafur ISK 18 and 20 million respectively and Magnús ISK 20 million in each, ruv.is reports.

The ruling was announced shortly after 4 pm today.

UPDATE: The amounts each of the defendants must pay has been updated in line with the latest information presented in the Icelandic media.

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