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Former Swiss Life CFO accused of fraud

A former top executive at insurer Swiss Life as been charged with embezzlement and fraud, prosecutors in Zurich said on Thursday.

Dominique Morax, the company's chief financial officer from 1997 to 2002, stands accused of having manipulated the share price of Long Term Strategy, a company founded by Swiss Life.

Morax has called the allegations "completely unjustifiable".

The charges stem from an investigation that began in 2002 and accuses Morax of having granted Long Term Strategy guarantees and services worth SFr4.1 million (about $2.4 million at the time) after he invested his own money in the company.

Swiss Life acknowledged in 2002 that Morax and five other top managers made a SFr11.5 million profit by investing SFr3.8 million of their own money in Long Term Strategy. The scandal led to the shutdown of Long Term Strategy in July 2002.

Swiss Life, which sells life insurance and runs pension funds, made record losses when stock exchanges crashed in 2002. The company blamed the losses on an excessive expansion strategy and errors in management.

An investigation into two other former Swiss Life executives was dropped.

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