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Trial ends Geneva ex-banker jailed over fraud

Bidzina Ivanishvili

Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia, (seen here in a picture from 2012) was affected by the ex-banker's actions

(Keystone)

A former Credit Suisse banker has been found guilty by a Geneva court of causing losses of more than $100 million (CHF97 million) to his clients, including the former prime minister of Georgia. He has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Pascal Lescaudron, a 54-year-old French citizen, was accused of fraud and forgery in at least 12 cases, including the oil billionaire and former prime minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, as well as a former Russian senator, Vitaly Malkin.

It took the justice authorities more than 40 meetings to untangle the network of transactions.

“The mistakes made by the accused are serious and lasted for eight years,” Judge Alexandra Banna said as she read out the verdict in Geneva on Friday. “His motivations were essentially egotistical, driven by the lure of profits.”

Personal gain

The ex-banker had caused damage amounting to CHF143 million ($152 million), which brought him CHF30 million worth of personal gains, she continued.

The adviser had “fooled the bank and the client” through a “clever fraud” in which he “copy-pasted signatures on documents so as to falsify transfer orders,” Banna added.

Lescaudron, who has been in detention since 2016, admitted most of the deeds and argued he had cooperated fully with the authorities during the two-year investigation.

He said he had used the money to buy real estate and luxury goods, according to the charges.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse has said the former adviser violated internal rules and Swiss law and worked to conceal these actions from the bank.

Bloomberg/Reuters/ilj

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