Denmark’s PKA has expressed support for the prison sentences handed down to two men found guilty of fraud that cost the pension provider millions in writedowns.

The Western High Court in Viborg has jailed Bent Nielsen – founder of tyre recycling company Genan – for six years after finding him guilty of fraud and mandate fraud of a particularly serious nature.

Alongside Bent Nielsen, Bjarne Nielsen – an accountant with Deloitte who had been working for Bent Nielsen and Genan – was sentenced to three years in prison for contributing to fraud.

PKA was forced to bail out Genan – which it holds as a private equity investment – in 2014 by upping its stake in the company to 97% from 45%, as it was on the verge of financial collapse. The DKK275bn (€36.9bn) pension provider invested DKK1bn in the firm, but was then believed to have suffered a loss of several hundred million on the company.

PKA said in a statement: “Their actions have had major consequences for Genan, for the company’s banks and, not least, for PKA and our investment in the company. Therefore, we believe that it is important to get the court’s word that Bent A Nielsen and Bjarne Nielsen’s actions were illegal.”

Bjarne Nielsen had signed documents that Bent Nielsen had used to prove he was paid back money he had loaned to Genan, even though this had not been the case, a PKA spokesman said.

The two convicted men are not related.

PKA said Genan had shown growth in both results and sales in its latest set of annual accounts. In its 2018 annual report, the firm said profit more than doubled from the previous year to DKK39m on sales of DKK341.2m.

PKA runs four pension funds: the Health Care Professionals pension fund; the State Registered Nurses and Medical Secretaries pension fund; the Social Workers, Teachers and Office Staff pension fund, and the Pharmaconomists’ Pension Fund.