STOCKHOLM - Hounded for years by Sweden's anti-porn government, Private Media Group CEO Berth Milton Jr. has been ordered by a Swedish court to pay $100 million in back taxes.
"If I sold refrigerators, none of this would have happened," Milton said of the ruling by the Stockholm County Administrative Court. "It's only because I'm involved with pornography,"
Milton's attorney plans to file an appeal in the spring, and expects to argue the case in court next year.
"The county administrative court is like the tax agency's right hand and so far we've won everything in the administrative court of appeal," Milton told the Swedish-English-language news site The Local.
The Swedish government has been after Milton for a decade. According to the newspaper Aftonbladet, court documents claim the Euro-porn king failed to report 1.35 billion kronor in income between 1996 and 1999.
Milton maintains that because Private is based in Barcelona, he is not obligated to pay Swedish taxes at all.
"They can't handle that I manage a pornography company in a legal manner," he said.
The court judgment says Milton must pay the original taxes of 675 million kronor, plus interest that brings the total to 865 million kronor ($100 million). If he does not pay, Sweden's debt collection arm Kronofogden may step in.
Milton moved Private's operations to Barcelona in 1990 after taking the reins of the company from his father. In 1999, Milton took the company public, making Private Media Group the first hardcore porn company to be listed with NASDAQ.
Private is one of Europe's largest adult content producers. The company recently acquired VOD provider Gamelink in an all-stock deal that continues Private's aggressive expansion into new media platforms including IPTV, mobile and Internet.
Milton was unavailable Tuesday for further comment.