April 10, 2018 / 11:24 AM / 14 days ago

Danish lighting company executive charged with $80 million fraud

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish prosecutors charged the founder and former chief executive of lighting company Hesalight with more than 500 million Danish crowns ($82.72 million) of fraud on Tuesday.

Lars Norholt denied the charges and was looking forward to fighting the case, his lawyer said.

The 46-year-old was accused of misleading investors by booking large, fake orders to make the company’s finances look healthier than they were, the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime said in a statement.

The prosecutor’s office said it was recommending prison, additional fines and confiscation of amongst other things three properties on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

The former head of the LED lighting supplier was also charged with criminal breach of trust, fraud against creditors, document forgery and VAT fraud, the prosecutors said.

“My client pleads not guilty and looks forward to be able to account for the whole development of the case once the court case begins in late August,” defence lawyer Anders Nemeth told Reuters.

Lars Norholt was not in detention, the state prosecutor’s office said.

Police heard the first complaints about the company in September 2016, the office said. The privately-held company went into bankruptcy proceedings in November 2016, the state prosecutor added.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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