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Sweden's 'most wanted' heads for bankruptcy

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Sweden's 'most wanted' heads for bankruptcy
11:30 CEST+02:00
The administrator in the case of Joachim Posener, who has spent over 15 years on the run following the looting of the firm Trustor in 1997, has given up the chase for assets and has filed a bankruptcy application with a Stockholm court.

Renman has been tasked with tracing assets held by Posener with a view to meeting tax and other liabilities in Sweden and it will now be the court's decision to determine when the bankruptcy is completed.

The looting of investment company Trustor in 1997 is one of the Sweden's largest economic crimes. Posener, as Trustor's vice president, stood accused of transferring 620 million kronor from the company to a foreign bank account without formal authorization.

Posener subsequently fled abroad, declared personal bankruptcy, and an international warrant was put out for his arrest.

Claims amounting to around 230 million kronor are currently on file against him but Posener has given no indication of seeking to meet his debts. According to Renman, Posener has good reason to stay in hiding as the debts will only be written off ten years after the bankruptcy proceedings are completed.

The suspected crimes that he was being investigated for have however now passed their statute of limitations.

Posener was thought to have escaped with 46 million of the 600 million kronor ($89 million) stolen from the investment company.

Some 3.2 million kronor in assets belonging to Posener were found in a bank account in Jersey in 2012 and the funds were reclaimed by the Swedish state, which stepped in to cover part of the fallout when Trustor went bankrupt.

The long list of agencies looking for Posener included the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) and the Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden).

After nearly 12 years on the run, Posener emerged in 2009, meeting with the Swedish authorities in Belgium. According to Posener he had been living in Spain, Brazil, Israel and Argentina during the years that he was wanted for questioning.

The Trustor affair stems from a 1997 transaction involving British businessman Lord Moyne, who illegally bought a majority stake in Trustor by financing the purchase with Trustor's own money.

Lord Moyne, a writer and son of the well-known British aristocrat Diana Mitford, was cleared of any wrongdoing, as was Peter Matsson. Thomas Jisander was sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzlement.

TT/The Local/pvs

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