For years, he was a member of the elite of Swiss bankers. Now, a former Credit Suisse wealth manager is in a prison hospital in Geneva, charged with fraud, misappropriation, and criminal mismanagement, facing as many as 10 years behind bars.
Bloomberg News reports that the case reaches beyond the executive, who under Swiss law can’t be identified in public. Credit Suisse now faces criminal accusations from three clients, alleging it played a role in the fraud.
The timing is terrible for Switzerland’s No. 2 bank. Its new CEO, Tidjane Thiam, is betting its future on managing money for the rich. Wednesday, he announced plans for more cuts at its investment bank. He also told Bloomberg Television he was blindsided by risky debt and illiquid positions taken at the trading unit that he expects to contribute to a loss for the bank in the first quarter.
At least one client involved in the Geneva case - one of Credit Suisse’s largest - is pulling his accounts from the bank. In criminal complaints with prosecutors, his lawyers accuse the bank of money laundering and “churning” his accounts to boost its revenue with unnecessary trades.
Credit Suisse spokeswoman said in an e-mail that the now-fired banker “violated internal rules and Swiss law and engaged in criminal acts to deceive the bank’s control system.” She added that the bank believes he “concealed his deceptions from colleagues and that this is to the best of its knowledge an individual case.”
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