After a big PayDay, former Starbreeze CFO convicted of insider trading

Sebastian Ahlskog has found himself in hot water after being convicted of insider trading.

Alex Gervas
24th February 2020
The former CFO of Starbreeze, Sebastian Ahlskog, was convicted of insider trading on 11 February.

Ahlskog is facing a fine of $4,142 for buying and selling the company’s classified information and stock. This amount is just an addition to the previous fine of $72,494 imposed after the first raid. Ahlskog then had a week to appeal the fine, but there have not been any announcements that would indicate that an appeal will take place.

The business's last report indicated a $12 million loss.

Starbreeze, the Swedish developer of games such as Payday and The Chronicles of Riddick, has been under investigation since December 2018. Two months before, Ahlskog stepped down as the Chief Financial Officer, just before the inside trading allegedly began in November.

The then-CEO, Bo Andersson Klint, stepped down following the involvement of the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (ECA). Nevertheless, Klint was cleared of all charges.

Ahlskog’s conviction has come at the end of a period of reconstruction for Starbreeze. The company had been given twelve months to recover from their financial losses. The business’s last report indicated a $12 million loss and, despite being less than the 2018 financial report, the company is still in the process of economic recovery.

Starbreeze has applied measures to solve the company’s financial situation after being declared to be on the brink of financial insolvency. Some of these included laying off staff, selling off publishing licences, and restarting paid content production for Payday 2.

Related: Rockstar Games responds to £80 million tax relief claims

At the same time, Digital Bros has obtained all of Starbreeze’s assets from Smilegate for $21.2 million, and now holds 30.18% stake and 40.83% of the company’s voting rights.

Despite the economic struggles of the company, Starbreeze has reassured users Payday 3 will come in 2023, stating that production has been underway since 2017.

Featured image credit: @PAYDAYGame (Twitter)

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