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Suspected bribery at independent school giant Academedia

Suspected bribery at independent school giant Academedia

And it was the Swedish Tax Agency that, in an audit earlier this year of the Småland construction company and its subcontractor, found a private invoice from American Express and large payments to a private account.

The special person can be linked to an employee of the independent school group “Academia” who was responsible for the renovation of many of the group’s schools.

I worked on renovating the school

At the same time that the construction company billed Academedia 14.3 million kronor for the renovation work, hundreds of thousands of kronor were sent from the company to the private account of the responsible official.

In secret messages between the official and the construction company on WhatsApp chat, the official demands money every time the construction company invoices Academedia for renovation projects.

At one point the official wrote: “Now I got your wages for all the jobs and then I’ll get mine too.”

– The IRS finds payments from this construction company to this person who works for the school company. Prosecutor Johan Lindmark of the National Anti-Corruption Unit said he sits on cases related to school renovations and has received the money.

According to him, it is the system and the large sums that make him classify crimes as serious in taking bribes.

Plaintiff: System

– If you look at the system, it looks like extra salary comes out about once a month.

In total, the owner of the construction company must have brought in more than SEK 650,000 via a subcontractor company in a short period of time. In one case, it also involved a private bill from American Express which included the purchase of, among other things, large quantities of alcohol in Germany, food and restaurant bills paid by the company.

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The two defendants had known each other for several years and stated in their cross-examination that it was a matter of repaying a larger loan.

The official repeatedly urged the construction company to delete the confidential messages, but they are now part of the initial police investigation.

picture: the police

And “Academia” terminated the accused’s work for completely different reasons, before discovering the entanglement.

The man describes the accusation as untrue.

I was not guilty of what the indictment indicates. I have known this contractor for many years and I gave a loan to this person many years ago and asked for this debt back.

He also stated to Expressen that he was not the one who chose the construction company.

an agreement”

In the preliminary investigation, there are messages between the “Academia” employee and the owner of the construction company from the “WhatsApp” chat program, where they talk, according to the public prosecutor, about a “deal” or criminal plan in which the employee arranges jobs for the construction company in return for receiving an amount each time. .

The Director of Communications at the Academy, Paula Hammerskog, welcomes the trial in the bribery case and confirms that the accused is no longer operating as before.

picture: Academia

Over and over, the Academedia employee implores the building contractor to delete his messages and writes that they will make money together:

“I want us to earn as much as possible, of course.”

On the part of the school group Academedia, they do not want to comment on the content of the preliminary investigation, but they maintain that the defendant had already had to leave his job for other reasons before the entanglement was discovered.

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– It’s good to think that this is being tried and we are of course following the trial, says Group Communications Director Paula Hammerskog.

Prosecutor Johan Lindmark describes a crime of this kind as difficult to detect.

– It applies regardless of whether it is about private companies, municipalities, regions or government authorities that you trust. Whoever makes the selection, as in this case, the service provider does so honestly and does the best they can. This is something that happens in secret. Employers cannot see these payments. He says it’s hard to spot.

The businessman accused of construction did not want to comment on the allegation.

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CEO Marcus Stromberg commented on the report in May this year.