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Nine people indicted in the biggest case of its kind

Þórður Snær Júlíusson and Stigur Helgason skrifar

Nine people have been indicted by the Special Prosecutor for their involvement in a general market manipulation by Kaupthing Bank with its own shares.

Among the accused are Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson former CEO of Kaupthing Bank, Sigurður Einarsson former acting chairman of the bank, Magnús Guðmundsson former CEO of Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg, and Ingólfur Helgason former CEO of Kaupthing in Iceland. The other five are all former employees of Kaupthing Bank.

This is the largest case of its kind in the world, that has lead to an indictment, and by far the most extensive case the Special Prosecutor has investigated. The indictments were issued last week, and served to the accused yesterday.

The case involves five different cases of market manipulation connected to Kaupthing Bank, which the Special Prosecutor has been investigating for a long time. These have now been combined into one indictment.

Among these are Kaupthing's acquisitions of 29% of its own stock in 2005 to 2008. The Special Prosecutor believes there is a well-founded suspicion that these transactions were carried out, with the knowledge and approval of the bank's chief executive officers, in a systematic and organised manner, to preserve the value of the bank's stock, usually through preferred customers who received loans from the bank for the acquisitions. The day before Kaupthing Bank collapsed, in October 2008, 92% of the portfolio of the bank's own trade were shares in the bank itself.

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