Swedish rockers the Hives have been ordered to pay their peers the Cardigans 18 million SEK by Lund district court, as well as over five million SEK in legal fees, reports Swedish Radio. The verdict is part of an ongoing bookkeeping conflict involving many of Sweden's most successful bands, including the Ark, Timbuktu, the Soundtrack of Our Lives and old-timers Europe.
The bookkeeping company Tambourine Studios in Malmö, southern Sweden, is the common denominator. Bands like the Hives, the Cardigans, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, Timbuktu, the Ark, and even old timers Europe let that company to handle their books during the 2000's.
The problem, though, was that during several years, Tambourine Studios shuffled money around between the bands' accounts. According to the artists, it was done without their approval.
In Tuesday's verdict, Lund district court ordered the Hives to pay the Cardigans around 18 million Swedish crowns and legal fees.
But that verdict will not be the last. The Hives' frontman Pelle Almqvist has told Aftonbladet that this could mean the "death" of the band – and on Tuesday evening, their lawyer, Monica Crusner, told Swedish Television they would appeal the verdict.
For all bands involved, determining whether the bookkeepers acted with their consent will be key. Forensics with the Swedish police have judged the Hives' signatures on a document authorizing the bookkeepers to make transfers for them to have been forged.
Last spring, the band sued their previous accountant to the tune of nearly 200 million SEK for not discovering the mysterious happenings at Tambourine Studios.
With that verdict pending, the band could yet come out as the winners – even after five years of legal troubles and personal debt.