Former top Swiss banker convicted for fraud

Vincenz is a former Swiss 'banker of the year'. His trial attracted intense public interest. © Keystone/Michael Buholzer

A Swiss court has sentenced former Raiffeisen bank chief Pierin Vincenz to almost four years in prison for fraud, forgery of documents and criminal mismanagement.

This content was published on April 13, 2022 - 13:29

The judge on Wednesday handed down a jail sentence of 45 months as well as a suspended fine of CHF840,000 ($899,858). Vincenz was also ordered to refund CHF1.3 million to compensate damages incurred over a corporate transaction.

He was accused of making millions through illicit deals while he was chief executive of Raiffeisen Switzerland, the country’s third largest bank.

However, the district court in Zurich cleared him of several other charges.

A second defendant, Beat Stocker, the former CEO of an IT service management company, was given a four-year prison sentence and a fine.

The trial centred around conflicts of interest on deal between a number of firms in which both Vincenz and Stocker were involved.

Vincenz has already announced that he will be launching an appeal against the verdict. Raiffeisen bank said it was also likely to challenge the verdict.

The prosecutor had asked for a six-year jail sentence for both defendants.

High-profile case

Vincenz and six other defendants in the case had denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecution had sought to recoup nearly CHF70 million in total assets from the defendants as well as pursuing financial penalties and prison terms ranging from two to six years for all but one of them.

The verdict in one of the biggest corporate crime trials in recent Swiss history came after an eight-day proceeding over the past six weeks. Details about huge expenses filed by Vincenz, notably in strip clubs, caused furore in public.

The 65-year-old former Swiss “banker of the year” claimed the expenses were justified for business reasons.

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