THE founder of a $580 million Mayfair hedge fund firm that imploded amid a flurry of fraud allegations in 2009 has been charged with six offences including false trading, false accounting and forgery.
The charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office follow a three-and-a-half-year investigation into the investment activities of the Swedish banker Magnus Peterson on behalf of clients of the firm, Weavering Capital.
The hedge fund had appeared to be performing well until a rush of investors sought to pull out in the wake of the banking crisis at the end of 2008. By March 2009, administrators were called in and investors said they had lost more than $530 million.
In civil proceedings earlier this year 49-year-old Peterson denied wrongdoing and suggested another Weavering employee had acted fraudulently. His legal representatives could not be reached for comment.
Delivering her judgment, Mrs Justice Proudman found in favour of liquidators from Duff & Phelps, ruling certain swap trades "were indeed shams". Damages of $450 million were awarded against Peterson and three others. The claimants had alleged the swap trades were with an investment vehicle mostly owned and controlled by Peterson.