"Skellefteå residents have the right to know"

Norran has, over the course of several recent articles, investigated the activities of Daxio, a company that has attracted a lot of investment from Skellefteå residents. According to critics, Daxio could be a pyramid scheme, which is illegal in Sweden. Here, editor-in-chief Malin Christoffersson explains how Norran came to publish the results of the investigation.

Norran's editor-in-chief Malin Christoffersson compares pyramid schemes to the chain letters of childhood. Here, the background to the investigation of Daxio, which has recently gained a strong foothold in Skellefteå, is explained.

Norran's editor-in-chief Malin Christoffersson compares pyramid schemes to the chain letters of childhood. Here, the background to the investigation of Daxio, which has recently gained a strong foothold in Skellefteå, is explained.

Foto: Privat/skärmdump Facebook

Skellefteå2023-02-03 17:22

Remember the chain letters from when you were little? "Send a chocolate bar to the person at the top of the letter, write your own name at the bottom and forward it to six friends. Soon you will receive a lot of chocolate in the mailbox!” 

I would occasionally buy chocolate chip cookies and send them off, but don't remember any cookies showing up in my mailbox in return. I also felt a bit stupid; how could I do that?

Chain letters in the 1980s often looked something like this.

Pyramid schemes and investment scams are the adult version of childhood chain letters, but the principle is the same. By recruiting a broad base of people who invest capital, the people at the top can earn large sums of money. The losers at the bottom don't know they're losers until the payout is missed or the pyramid collapses completely. How many are then willing to admit that they voluntarily entered into a business with large sums of money so incomprehensible that they themselves do not even know what they bought? It's easy to not ask questions for fear of appearing stupid.

But is Daxio, the company which Norran has investigated, a pyramid scheme or some other form of fraud? Or is it a legitimate company that offers opportunities to make money quickly without any major effort? What we do know is that Norway's equivalent of the Swedish Gambling Authority is warning about the company and likening it to pyramid schemes. We also know that around 20 complaints have been received about the company in Sweden, that the cryptocurrency exchange Trijo branded Daxio a "scam", and that several sources claim that the business is similar to investment fraud. There are people who claim to have invested large sums of money which they are now not getting back.

But there is no warning from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, nor has the Swedish Gambling Authority started any investigation, despite the complaints that have been received. Co-founder Frode Jørgensen believes that the criticism is rooted in ignorance and that it is "as far from a pyramid scheme as you can get". So why are we writing about this? Why did Norran choose to go undercover and name the main players in Daxio?

Last autumn, one of Daxio's main figures, Fredrik Ekersund, held an information meeting about Daxio at the Aurum Hotel. Fredrik used to live in Skellefteå.

There are several reasons for that. Daxio is a company that has been questioned by many for its operations. The approach ticks off pretty much all of the Swedish Gambling Authority's red flags for suspected fraud, and in addition, the company has recently established itself strongly in Skellefteå. According to Daxio themselves, there are around 150 members in town and some have invested large sums of money. At the same time, investor payouts have stalled, according to Daxio, due to "technical problems". We believe that the people of Skellefteå have the right to know what they are getting into, that there are risks and criticisms of the business. Then it is up to everyone to decide for themselves what risks they are willing to take.

But going undercover, and attending the meeting without telling them that we came from Norran; was that really necessary? Well, in this case it was. Going undercover, i.e. to covertly document something without clearly stating that one is a journalist, is a method that should be used with caution, when it is considered the only way to get an accurate picture of reality. Here, we wanted to ensure that we got to see the same thing that all other Skellefteå residents see at the members' meetings so as to be able to provide an accurate picture of what is happening.

Frode Jørgensen and Fredrik Ekersund both reportedly now live in Thailand. Fredrik had previously lived in Skellefteå for many years.

The fact that we then chose to publish the names of Frode Jørgensen, Heidi Byrkjeland and Fredrik Ekersund is because it is these three people who have the most influence of the representatives of the company that Skellefteå residents encounter. Frode is the only one of the three who agreed to be interviewed. Fredrik and Heidi have also had several opportunities to tell their version, but they have chosen not to answer our questions. Which is a shame. They both have a great responsibility towards the Skellefteå residents who invested in the company and it would have been relevant for the readers to hear their views as well.

Do you have information on Daxio or is there anything else you think we should investigate? Contact us at granskning@norran.se. And if you receive an offer to invest in a new, exciting business that offers quick returns without you having to lift a finger, be sure to get educated so that you know what you're investing in and can assess the level of risk you are willing to take.