The bankrupt IT Factory’s CEO Stein Bagger has been formally charged in absentia in Denmark with fraud and forgery. Bagger’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
The court in the Copenhagen suburb of Lyngby ordered Thursday that Bagger should be detained, paving the way for an international arrest warrant. To date, Bagger has only be sought by Interpol as a result of his wife reporting him missing.
According to the Economic Crimes Squad, Bagger is alleged to have falsified leasing contracts in 2007 and 2008 in order to draw one billion kroner from banks in Denmark and abroad. He is also alleged to have defrauded Sweden’s SEB Bank of DKK 51 million.
In both cases Bagger is alleged to have forged the signature of IT Factory Board Chairman Asger Jensby.
The allegations were put forward at a closed-door court hearing in Lyngby where the Public Prosecutor for Economic Crime had asked to have Bagger’s charges presented in absentia.
Attorney Jesper Madsen was appointed to defend the IT Factory CEO.
Stein Bagger has been missing since he left his hotel in Dubai a week ago. During the weekend IT Factory management claimed it had discovered false leasing contracts in a secret office used by Bagger.
According to media reports, Bagger is alleged to have built up a leasing circus designed to show major turnover and profits in the IT Factory - but which, in fact, had no base in any real assets.
In one example, a partner sells hardware for a hosting centre to the IT Factory. Funds for the purchase are borrowed through a leasing company, which pays out DKK 51 million to be paid over 36 months. The partner then buys licenses from the IT Factory, ensuring a good turnover.
The leasing roulette provides a large flow of funds and the ability to pay leasing companies back - for a time.
The merry-go-round appears to have been almost the entire turnover of the IT Factory.
The trustee in IT Factory’s bankruptcy estate, Bo Frederiksen, has said that Stein Bagger appeared to be the only person involved in the fraud.
Edited by Julian Isherwood