Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court sentenced former financier Dieter Behring to five-and-a-half years in prison on Friday, as punishment for fraud and money laundering.
Sixty-one-year-old Behring, from Basel, can still appeal the decision.
He was accused of abusing the trust of nearly 2,000 investors between September 1998 and October 2004, having promised them windfall returns if they used his self-developed financial software. The software was designed to analyse stock market activity, but the scheme fell through and Behring ended up losing CHF 800 million ($827 million).
The sentence follows a long and convoluted legal process, with Behring originally having been arrested in October 2004, released in April 2005, and re-arrested in March 2007. He was again released upon payment of CHF1 million bail and confiscation of his passport.
Behring has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.
swissinfo.ch and agencies