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Collapsed money scheme Fraudster ordered to pay CHF207 million damages

Dieter Behring (right) enters the court in Bellinzona to hear the verdict


Convicted financial fraudster Dieter Behring has been ordered to pay CHF207 million ($208 million) to the victims of his failed investment scheme. Some 1,189 investors had asked the court to award CHF420 million in damages.

Last year, Behring was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for fraud and money laundering following the collapse of his scheme in 2004 that lost a total of CHF800 million. The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona has now decided the amount of damages due to hoodwinked investors.

The judge refused to rule on any deposits made after a cut-off date of October 2001 and also referred some applicants to the civil courts to seek damages. He added that private investors had priority over a CHF100 million claim from the Swiss government, which may end up unpaid.

In total, some 2,000 people invested money into Behring’s scheme that promised returns using self-developed financial software to analyse the markets.

Behring’s lawyer said his client would appeal. Behring had previously asked that an “average” double-digit million franc figure, seized from him during the investigation, should be used to compensate investors.

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