In the autumn of 2019, the Norwegian subsidiary of the Edison Group was targeted in a sophisticated CEO fraud. The subsidiary’s managing director received an inquiry from fraudsters acting as the Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Italy. The fake CEO instructed the managing director of the Norwegian subsidiary to assist with the execution of payments as part of an acquisition the Group was in the process of completing.
Through manipulation of the managing director of the Norwegian company, the fraudsters managed to create a false belief that the payments had to be completed immediately and kept strictly confidential. Over the period of two weeks, the managing director of the Norwegian company was manipulated into making 13 payments from the company’s account in Danske Bank to the fraudster’s accounts. In total, the payments amounted to NOK 130 million, all of which went to newly incorporated companies in Hong Kong. Edison had not previously made any payments to Hong Kong.
In the spring of 2020, Edison filed a lawsuit against their bank in Norway, Danske Bank, seeking compensatory damages. On February 8, 2022, Oslo District Court concluded that Danske Bank should have stopped the payments and that the bank was liable for damages to Edison International. On April 19, 2023 Borgarting Court of Appeal concluded that the District Court’s judgment was correct.