Interpol Seeks IBM Partner CEO In Fraud Case

Stein Bagger, CEO of Copenhagen-based reseller IT Factory is being sought by Interpol in a potential $85 million fraud case after disappearing during a trip to Dubai, according to a Tuesday report in The Register.

IT Factory started life in the 1990s as a privately-held Boston-based solution provider focused on Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange. The firm once billed itself as the largest Lotus Domino ISV in the world, and more recently, shifted its focus to delivering SaaS versions of CRM, HRM, and business analytics software.

IT Factory enjoyed huge success in the late 1990s, acquiring eight companies between 1991 and 2001. But IT Factory fell on hard times and sold off its assets in December 2001, at which time it consolidated the remains of its technology business in Copenhagen and named Bagger as its new CEO.

Until recently, Bagger had been credited with steering the company through an incredible turnaround. According to Computerworld Denmark, IT Factory has doubled its revenue and profit for each of its last three fiscal years. However, authorities now allege that the vast majority of this success came from Bagger forging contracts, according to published reports.

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Police also want to speak with Bagger about the recent vicious beating of a former business partner that took place the day before Bagger disappeared during a trip to Dubai, according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Bagger has links to the Danish branch of the Hell's Angels, which is believed to have administered the beating, according to TechCrunch.

But the real coup de grace of this sordid channel tale is the fact that IT Factory proudly lists several recent industry awards and achievements on its (now-defunct) Web site, which can be viewed here through Google cache.

Ernst & Young Denmark in October bestowed Bagger with its prestigious "Entrepreneur Of The Year" award; IBM Denmark last December named IT Factory as its top Software As A Service Partner for 2007; and in June 2007, IT Factory inked a global distribution deal with Avnet.

Representatives from Ernst & Young, IBM and Avnet couldn't be reached for comment.