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150219icelands-jailed-bankers

Iceland’s Supreme Court have sentenced four bank bosses from Kaupthing bank to serve jail time, according to yournewswire.com.

Bankers Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of the board, Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the former chief executive, Magnus Gudmundsson, the former chief executive of the Luxembourg branch and Olafur Olafsson, one of the majority owners, were sentenced to jail time of between four and five and a half years each.

The court found that they hid the fact that Qatari investor Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani bought a stake in Kaupthing, using money borrowed illegally from the bank itself.

Al-Thani’s purchase, a 5.1 per cent share, was announced only a few weeks before the bank collapsed. It was seen as a confidence boost for the bank while rumours circulated that it was in trouble.

These are the heaviest sentences for financial fraud in Iceland’s history. The four will have to pay their own legal costs for the case, which amount to 82 million kronur or approximately 670 thousand US dollars.

You can read the full story on yournewswire.com.

Meanwhile, in the UK – where bank bonus culture continues unabated – the former boss of a huge multinational bank (HSBC) that illegally helped more than 7,000 customers to avoid paying their taxes appears to be under the protection of the country’s prime minister – whose own family (as has been well-established) made its money from advising people on how to avoid paying taxes.

HM Revenue and Customs has identified 1,100 UK citizens who could be prosecuted for avoiding tax – only one person has faced such prosecution.

One of the UK’s most respected newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, has been avoiding the story (allegedly) because it wants to protect a lucrative advertising contract with HSBC.

Our government of Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat MPs is – as far as anybody can see – protecting the people who caused the financial crash of 2007 onwards, along with those who – by withholding the tax money they owe the UK Treasury – have forced unnecessary austerity onto the poorest people in the country.

It is estimated that thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of people have died because of benefit cuts and sanctions that have been administered either by fraud or error.

Yet the Conservative Party is still expected to return nearly 300 members to Parliament on May 8.

Can anybody explain that?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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