Falcon Funds four are sentenced to prison

All four defendants in the case relating to the Falcon Funds and Optimus fraud have been sentenced to prison.

Stockholm District Court announced the verdict on Friday, 17 April. The main hearing was held between November and February, with four people now prosecuted, including the main suspects Mark Bishop and Max Serwin (who used to be called Emil Amir Ingmanson).

Friday’s announcement saw Bishop sentenced to seven and a half years in prison while Serwin is sentenced to six years and nine months. Serwin previously went on the run from a residence in the UK after a British court ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face charges. He was found in Hungary weeks later.

The judgment ruled that the damage to Swedish pension savers amounts to SEK 308m, affecting around 20,000 pension savers. The Swedish Pensions Authority described the ruling as a “success” in its efforts to recover the money that pension savers in Optimus have missed out on.

"We are satisfied with the outcome and that the district court has highlighted the seriousness of the fact that the crimes have taken place against our socially important public pension system. The district court's marking is vindication for the pension savers and pensioners who have been deceived,”Swedish Pensions Authority general counsel, Lena Aronsson, said.

She added that the ruling will help in its "continued efforts”to recover the money of those affected.

The pension authority has not assisted the prosecutor in the case concerning Optimus but has taken other measures to, for example, secure assets deemed to belong to the affected pension savers.

"The court in England last week, at our request, issued a decision to freeze assets linked to three representatives of Falcon Funds and Optimus," Aronsson added.

Serwin (Ingmanson) served as an introducer for the Maltese registered Falcon Funds, which was only available to private pension savers in Sweden, through the Swedish Pensions Authority. Swedish pension savers found their money unwittingly transferred to the Optimus High Yield Fund, which prompted the authority to take action.

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