NewsWorldSwiss 'banker of the year' convicted in corruption trial

Swiss ‘banker of the year’ convicted in corruption trial

Swiss judges on Wednesday sentenced former Raiffeisen Switzerland Chief Executive Pierin Vincenz (left in photo) to three and three-quarters years in prison as it found him guilty of fraud and other counts in a trial that has gripped the nation with allegations of fraudulent deals and huge strip club bills.

In one of the country’s highest-profile corporate crime trials in decades, Zurich’s district court convicted Vincenz, a former Swiss ‘banker of the year’ charged with making millions through illicit deals while he was chief executive of the cooperative lender, on several counts.

He was found innocent on a number of counts as well. He can appeal the verdict.

All seven defendants in the case had denied the allegations against them.

Prosecutors were seeking nearly 70 million Swiss francs ($75 million) in total in assets from the seven defendants, as well as pursuing financial penalties and prison sentences ranging from two to six years for all but one of them.

The case centred around conflicts of interest on deals between a number of firms in which Vincenz and another defendant were involved. Both men were also accused of forgery.

The trial, which was moved from a courthouse to Zurich’s Volkshaus theatre due to the intense public interest, had also featured the 65-year-old’s alleged misuse of corporate expenses.

Vincenz told the court when it began in January that a near 200,000 Swiss franc expenses bill for strip club visits was largely business-related, while a 700 franc dinner with a woman he met on dating app Tinder was justified because he was considering her for a real estate job. Read full story

Other defendants were accused of anti-competitive behaviour and acting as accessories on the corporate deals, through which prosecutors allege they made millions.

(Reuters)

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