Frequently asked questions
Here you will find answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the Swedish Economic Crime Authority and our activities.
Why was the Swedish Economic Crime Authority founded?
The Swedish Economic Crime Authority was founded in 1998. The Swedish Parliament decided to form an authority to effectively combat economic crime by combining the specialist skills of economic prosecutors, economic police officers and economic auditors.
What is the “EBM” concept?
The Swedish Economic Crime Authority has specially trained economic prosecutors, economic police officers, economic auditors and economic administrators working in close cooperation. Each professional group contributes its leading-edge skills. The close cooperation between the professional groups means that their combined skills can be used effectively throughout the criminal investigation.
Why is it important to combat economic crime?
Those who commit serious crime may use economic crime to invest and conceal the proceeds of that crime, for example. Organised crime features more and more in economic crime and different types of crime are becoming increasingly linked. It is also important to combat less advanced crime.
What does the Swedish Economic Crime Authority do to prevent crime?
Our work to prevent crime aims primarily to reduce the tendency to commit crime and to make it more difficult to commit crime. Analysis of trends in society and thorough knowledge of criminals and how they work together forms the basis of effective crime prevention work.
As far as less advanced crime is concerned, ignorance is a common explanation. Owners of small companies often do not understand the requirements imposed with regard to bookkeeping, accounts and the obligation to file tax returns.
The Swedish Economic Crime Authority therefore carries on crime prevention work in cooperation with other authorities and has produced information material.
Information leaflets available in English
Where do most reports of economic crime come from?
Almost 80 per cent of all reports come from the Swedish Tax Agency and bankruptcy administrators. Other reports come from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, the general public or are cases initiated by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority.
What do I do if I want to report a suspected economic crime?
Contact your nearest police authority and file a report. That report will be forwarded to the Swedish Economic Crime Authority or to the nearest office of the Prosecutor General. You can also report a suspected crime directly to us.
Can I find out if my neighbour has been convicted of an economic crime?
No. That information is not publicly available. It is recorded in what is known as the Criminal Records Registry (belastningsregister), which is kept by the police. Only the person convicted can request information on him or herself.
What is the most common kind of economic crime?
Accounting crime is the most common, followed by various forms of tax crime.
What is the most harmful kind of economic crime?
It is difficult to say exactly. However, serious organised crime such as extensive VAT fraud for example, costs society a lot of money. On the other hand, simpler economic crime is often the gateway to more advanced crime in this field.
How many prosecutions lead to convictions?
Approximately 90 per cent of all prosecutions lead to convictions? These figures are in line with prosecutions overall.
Will the money from the economic crime be returned to society after a conviction?
At present the money (proceeds of crime) is often gone by the time the judgment is handed down. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority has set up a special proceeds of crime unit with responsibility for developing methods in cooperation with other authorities to trace and recover proceeds of crime so that the property can be forfeited (recovered) in court.
What is an order of summary punishment?
An order of summary punishment (strafföreläggande) is a simplified, time-saving procedure because the case does not go to court. An order of summary punishment cannot be appealed. The prosecutor can issue an order of summary punishment if the suspect admits the crime. An order of summary punishment can be used when the penalty is expected to be a fine or a conditional sentence, possibly in combination with a fine.
What does the penalty of a conditional sentence involve?
The court may hand down a conditional sentence (villkorlig dom) for a crime when fines are not sufficient. A conditional sentence may be combined with fines proportional to the convicted person's daily income and – if the convicted person gives his or her consent – community service. The person given a conditional sentence will be subject to a period of probation of two years. During that period, the person convicted must be conscientious and must attempt to support him or herself as far as he or she is able.
What punishment would you get for a serious accounting crime or a serious tax crime?
The punishment for a serious accounting crime or serious tax crime is a prison sentence of a minimum of six months and a maximum of six years.
What is an insider crime?
Insider information is information on a circumstance that is not published or publicly known, and that aims to substantially affect the price of a share or some other financial instrument. A person who has insider information may not acquire or sell, e.g. through a purchase or sale, the financial instruments to which the information relates on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another.
Neither may a person who has such information make use of that information to induce another person to acquire or sell, for example by purchase or sale of shares, through advice or a tip-off.
Why is it not sufficient to enter business transactions in the accounts once a year?
The Swedish Bookkeeping Act requires cash received and cash payments made to be entered in the accounts no later than the next working day. Other business transactions must be entered in the accounts no later than the end of the following month.
How long must I keep my accounts?
For ten years if you have a company.
Who investigates EU fraud?
The National Economic Crimes Bureau (Nationella Ekobrottskammaren) at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority in Stockholm is the central authority for the investigation of EU fraud. The Bureau investigates all suspected cases of EU fraud throughout the country when special knowledge on EU rules and the system of subsidies is required in order to carry out high-quality investigations.
Is there much cheating with EU funds in Sweden?
As with other kinds of crime, there are a number of unrecorded cases so it is difficult to measure the real extent of cheating with EU funds. When the EU Commission compares the number of cases of cheating and crime detected and reported, it is clear that Sweden has few cases of detected irregularities in comparison with other member States and that those cases involve relatively low amounts.