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Tax fraud French court scraps UBS request to drop money laundering charges

UBS sign

The bank risks a fine of up to €5 billion (CHF5.7 billion).

(Keystone)

A French constitutional court on Thursday rejected a request by Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, to drop money laundering charges and limit proceedings to complicity in tax fraud.

UBS Group, its French unit along with six executives and former executives are accused of helping wealthy clients avoid taxes in France.

They are facing charges of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering after a seven-year investigation and aborted settlement negotiations.

Defendants in France are allowed on the first day of a trial to raise objections against the case moving forward on the grounds the constitution has been flouted.

The court dismissed the bank’s arguments as “devoid of seriousness.” 

UBS must also answer to allegations that it illegally solicited clients in France 

If found guilty of money laundering, UBS could be fined up to 5 billion euros (CHF5.7 billion).

reuters/ds

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