Former Boss At Payday Studio Starbreeze Acquitted Over Insider Trading Charges

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In 2018, Payday publisher Starbreeze’s office was raided, with officials seizing documents and computers over suspicions of insider trading. Former chief financial officer Sebastian Ahlskog was convicted in 2020 for insider trading. Now, he has been acquitted of all charges.

GI.biz reports that Ahlskog was acquitted back on June 11, and the prosecution had until September 7 to appeal–but it did not do that. Additionally, the report said Ahlskog no longer needs to pay money to the “crime victims fund” after it was originally reported he was fined SEK 40,000.

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“The Court of Appeal does not believe Ahlskog had insider information that Starbreeze would fail to find external funding as it faced insolvency. At the time he sold his shares, the company was still in discussions with banks and other parties,” GI.biz reported.

Former Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint was also cleared on charges after facing an investigation.

While Starbreeze was indeed facing troubling financial times, the company has since turned things around in a big way. In March, Starbreeze announced a €50 million deal with Koch Media for Payday 3, which is coming in 2023 for PC and next-gen platforms.

For more on Starbreeze’s future outlook, check out GameSpot’s interview with new CEO Tobias Sjögr. He discussed the new deal and what it means for Starbreeze and the Payday series, how the deal came together in the first place, the benefits of having Payday 3 now be fully funded, what Starbreeze has in mind for Payday 3’s games-as-a-service approach, and how involved Koch is in the day-to-day.

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