Missing money belonging to Mikael Ljungman, the Swedish partner of fraudster Stein Bagger, has been found in two overseas accounts.
Ljungman and Bagger were both given seven-year sentences in 2009 after defrauding investors of over 1.2 billion kroner by artificially inflating the profits of their company IT Factory.
After their conviction 200 million kroner remained missing, and the public prosecutor for financial crime, SØK, has had repeated trouble finding it.
But after re-opening the case this September, SØK announced today that 2.3 million kroner had been confiscated from a bank account in Hong Kong, while an account on the island of Jersey – a notorious tax haven in the channel between France and the UK – had been frozen.
SØK announced that both accounts could be traced to Ljungman and that they were currently waiting to find out how to transfer the money back to Denmark.
“What this means in practise is that the bank where the 2.3 million kroner has been sitting now needs to transfer the money to the authorities in Hong Kong,” senior prosecutor Michael Ejlerskov told Ritzau.
Despite today’s developments, the prosecutors do not think it is realistic that what remains of the missing 200 million kroner will be returned.
“We do not have high hopes of finding the millions that remain missing despite having worked closely with the US for a long period of time,” SØK prosecutor Jens Madsen told Ritzau. “Some of it has been withdrawn in cash, while some has been sunk into a range of businesses.”
The confiscation of money from the account in Hong Kong is the first time that a non-EU country has complied with a Danish request to return stolen financial assets. Denmark is still waiting for an additional 36 million kroner being held by banks outside the EU to be confiscated and returned in a variety of other cases.