Second trial underway in Pyramid scheme case

Six former employees of the European Kings Club pyramid scheme have gone on trial in the Swiss capital, Berne, accused of defrauding investors out of millions of francs.

This content was published on August 16, 2000 minutes

The trial comes a day after seven local leaders of the organisation received suspended jail sentences for their part in the scam.

A verdict in the second trial is not expected until August 29.

On Tuesday, the court handed down suspended jail terms of between five and 14 months on six Swiss and one Italian. The men were also ordered to pay several thousand francs in legal costs.

Six of them were found guilty of breaching Switzerland's banking secrecy law, but the court rejected arguments that the defendants were guilty of belonging to a criminal organisation.

The low-ranking figures in the Berne branch of the EKC had helped to con more than 1,500 investors out of SFr17.5 million ($11 million) in canton Berne.

In total, the scam defrauded an estimated 30,000 people in Switzerland of up to SFr300 million.

swissinfo with agencies

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