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Former top Swiss banker convicted for fraud

Vincenz is a former Swiss ‘banker of the year’. © 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.

Judges on Wednesday handed down a jail sentence of 43 months as well as a suspended fine of CHF840,000 ($899,858). Vincenz was also ordered to refund CHF236,000.

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 accusations of corruption.

Vincenz’ laywer told the Reuters news agency that he would be launching an appeal against the verdict.

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 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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