February 9, 2018 / 9:18 AM / 6 months ago

Ex-Credit Suisse adviser sentenced to five years for "clever fraud"

GENEVA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A former Credit Suisse client adviser was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a Geneva court on Friday for abusing the trust of clients and putting in place a fraudulent scheme that brought him tens of millions of francs.

Judge Alexandra Banna said the ex-banker was guilty of fraud in his handling of former clients, including former Georgia Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and had caused damage amounting to 143 million Swiss francs ($152 million) which brought him 30 million francs worth of personal gains.

The adviser had "fooled the bank and the client" through a "clever fraud" in which he "copy-pasted signatures on documents so as to falsify transfer orders", Banna said.

The sentence matched what prosecutors had sought.

Lawyers for Ivanishvili have said that fraudulent activities by the adviser lost the former Georgian leader hundreds of millions of dollars.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse has said the former adviser violated internal rules and Swiss law and worked to conceal these actions from the bank.

$1 = 0.9389 Swiss francs Reporting by Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay, writing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields

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