Fugitive in Malta Falcon Funds pension bust arrested in London

Mystery trader Emil Amir Ingmanson was arrested in connection with investigations into Falcon Funds, which was once run from Malta

Emil Amir Ingmanson
Emil Amir Ingmanson

London Metropolitan Police arrested the mystery trader Emil Amir Ingmanson, on the strength of a warrant from Swedish prosecutors in connection with investigations into Falcon Funds, a pension that was once run from Malta.

The pension fund has been delisted from the Swedish pension system and in Malta, the financial regulator issued reprimands for directors Tonio Fenech, the former PN Nationalist finance minister, Joseph Xuereb and Ian Zammit.

Ingmanson was a prime mover behind Falcon Funds, having promoted it with the Swedish pensions authority, and later planned to take control of the pension fund’s investment decisions through his own firm, Falcon Asset Management, which he set up in Malta.

His arrest took place at London Heathrow airport early Thursday at 6.55am GMT. On Friday he faced a judge in London, who must decide within two days whether the trader can be extradited to Stockholm.

Swedish prosecutors are now suspecting that €6.4 million from the Falcon Funds pension fund were transferred to a Swedish company, whose CEO was also arrested this week.

Swedish police said the arrests were the result of “long-term cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Sweden, Norway, Malta, Italy and the United Kingdom. The EU agencies Europol and Eurojust (EU judicial cooperation body) have also been very important in the matter.”

Ingmanson recently changed his name to Max Emil Serwin, having lived in London for some time after first setting up shop in Malta. Falcon Funds has sued Ingmanson in a bid to prevent him from selling off his €1.6 million Sliema apartment.

In Sweden, he could face some 23 charges of securities fraud dating from 2013 into an unlawful merger of pension funds that later became Falcon Funds, which was set up as a Maltese SICAV and marketed to Swedish clients on the private pension platform.

Stockholm police believe that €80 million is still missing from a pension fund of some €270 million in savings by 22,000 clients. The fund was represented by directors Tonio Fenech, Zammit and Xuereb, but the investment decisions were taken by the Malta firm Temple Asset Management, which was fined €612,000 by the MFSA over licence breaches and had its authorisation suspended.

Falcon Funds’ directors have also taken up a battle in court, accusing Temple of investing over €10 million of savers’ cash in what turned out to be an ‘advance’ to Ingmanson and his London company.

But Swedish investigators dropped a criminal investigation on the Maltese director of Falcon Funds. “What they [the directors] are saying is that they have been misled about these investments. I must be able to show that there was a purpose for crime,” prosecutor Arne Fors of Stockholm police said. “I must be able to show that there has been a purpose for crime.”

The Swedish investigation remains ongoing with some 15 suspects being investigated, while the Swedish pensions authority says it is keeping the door open for legal proceedings against the Maltese. The police has also failed to track any of the money suspected of having been dispersed across the globe.