An indictment states that Sigur Ros evaded paying a total of $1.2 million between 2011 and 2014

By Jordan Runtagh Sarah Michaud
March 29, 2019 04:20 PM
Sigur Ros
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Three years after a probe was launched into their finances, the Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros have been charged with tax evasion.

On Thursday, a Reykjavik district prosecutor issued an indictment for members of the group for filing incorrect tax returns for years ranging from 2011 to 2014. According to a report in the Associated Press, the indictment states that the quartet evaded paying a total of 151 million Icelandic Krona, or $1.2 million.

The musicians, however, insist that the issue is the fault of their financial advisor.

“The members of the band regret that this matter needs to go before the courts, but at the same time they hope that their point of view will be understood,” representatives for Sigur Ros’ management company tell PEOPLE in a statement. “They have always had the full intention to comply with their financial and tax obligations and they thought they always did.”

Assets belonging to the four, including houses and apartments valued at over $6.5 million, will be frozen until the legal matter is settled, according to the AP. Frontman Jon Thor Birgisson, who currently resides in Los Angeles, is reportedly being charged with evading about $240,000 in income taxes and another $105,000 in taxes on his investment income.

His bandmates Georg Holm, Kjartan Sveinsson and Orri Pall Dyrason allegedly failed to report a total of $1.6 million in income, requiring approximately $725,000 in tax payment.

“The members of the band are musicians and not experts in bookkeeping or international trade — let alone delivering tax returns and related data,” the band’s legal representative Bjarnfredur Olafsson told PEOPLE in a statement. “That is why they hired internationally recognized experts to take care of the books and all necessary reports to the Icelandic authorities. But it has come to light that wrong returns were delivered to the internal revenue and/or they were delivered too late. At the same time, the members of the band thought these matters were in order and in the hand of professionals.”

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The statement continued, “It will now be up to the district prosecutor to prove that the individual members of the band were grossly negligent in filing their tax returns. In light of the facts of the case, I cannot see how that can be done and therefore it is disappointing that the district prosecutor has decided to indict them.”

A court date has yet to be set.

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