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Managers lead the way in fraud cases

Three-quarters of fraud cases concluded in Swiss courts in the first half of 2009 involved managers, according to an auditing firm's fraud barometer.

This content was published on September 15, 2009 - 15:59

KPMG said it recorded 35 cases from January to June, involving SFr200 million ($192.4 million), not including a massive cigarette fraud case. Financial institutions and investors were the hardest hit.

The sum in question in the "cigarette mafia" case, which came before a court in Bellinzona in southern Switzerland, was more than SFr1 billion. Dating back to 1990, it was the largest organised crime case in the history of the state.

The nine accused in Bellinzona were acquitted of money-laundering charges but found guilty of supporting criminal organisations.

Those who were caught with their hands in the till tended to spend their money on luxury items such as cars, yachts and clothes. They also used the cash to fund visits to casinos and red light districts.

However, the cases which end up in the legal system are only the tip of the iceberg, according to KPMG as most such cases are dealt with by companies internally. Only an estimated one in five cases end up in court.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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