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Hedge fund founder charged by Serious Fraud Office

Swedish Financier, Magnus Peterson, founder of Weavering Capital (UK) Limited has been charged with six offences under the Theft Act 1968, Companies Act 1985, Fraud Act 2006 and Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

Criminal proceedings were instigated by the Serious Fraud Office for offences that took place between 2003 and 2009 which led to the collapse of a $580 million hedge fund. The case against the English incorporated investment management firm was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over a three year period but was closed last year by Richard Alderman, former director of the Serious Fraud Office, due to concerns as to the prospect of criminal convictions resulting from the investigation.

The code for the Crown Prosecution Service, which equally applies to the Serious Fraud Office dictates that there are two stages:

1.    Evidential Test – is there a realistic prospect of conviction against the defendant
2.    Public Interest Test – Is it in the public interest to prosecute the defendant

Only when both stages are fulfilled should the decision be taken to prosecute a defendant.

Whilst Magnus Peterson denied any wrongdoing during civil proceedings, which were concluded this year, damages were nonetheless awarded against the Swedish financier and others. Following on from the judgement the Serious Fraud Office re-opened their investigation in July of this year.

The case against Magnus Peterson will take place at Westminster Magistrates Court on the 7th January 2013.

Investigations into allegations of fraud can take considerable time before charging decisions are made. Legal advice from the outset is crucial.

Our solicitors are instructed to act in cases of serious crime and fraud throughout the UK, being on hand to offer guidance as at every step it is required. For example, one of our fraud solicitors will attend at any time the police (or Serious Fraud Office or HM Customs) interviews with you, whether the interview is voluntary or following arrest. Your solicitor will help you to prepare, and will offer advice during the course of the interview, advising when to answer a question and when to exercise your right to remain silent. Having an experienced solicitor to defend you against fraud charges or allegations will ensure that you present the strongest fraud defence possible – which will critically involve knowing when to speak and when not to speak.

Our expert fraud solicitors can also provide legal advice if you have your assets frozen or seized as part of an ongoing fraud investigation.

For more information or to speak to a lawyer specialising in fraud cases, please do not hesitate to contact us on our 24 hour line 01254 52552 or alternatively you can email us.

By Sian Hall, Fraud Defence Lawyer in Manchester & Lancashire

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