Geneva Prosecutor’s Shift Benefits UBS in Oligarch Dispute

illustration that symbolizes the significant development in the oligarch dispute affecting Credit Suisse and UBS

Geneva’s Palace of Justice: A Crucial Turn of Events

In a significant development in Geneva concerning a dispute involving ultra-wealthy Eastern Europeans defrauded by a former Credit Suisse private banker, a pivotal change has occurred. These individuals have launched a global legal battle against the major bank.

Yves Bertossa’s Investigation Decision

Yves Bertossa, a prominent Geneva public prosecutor, has terminated his investigation into money laundering allegations involving a fraudulent ex-employee of Credit Suisse (CS). As reported by “Bloomberg” on Tuesday, Bertossa informed the parties involved that he found no evidence of money laundering, neither within the bank nor with the convicted and now deceased ex-CS banker, Patrice Lescaudron.

Impact on Credit Suisse and UBS

This development comes as a relief to both Credit Suisse and UBS, the latter having assumed CS’s extensive legal disputes following its March 2023 acquisition. The banks have declined to comment on the prosecutor’s decision to the agency.

Bertossa had previously reopened criminal proceedings against both Lescaudron, who took his own life in 2020, and CS. He suspected the institute of money laundering and organizational deficiencies potentially leading to criminal activities.

Billionaire Bidzina Iwanishvili’s Response

In 2021, Georgian billionaire Bidzina Iwanishvili, swindled out of hundreds of millions by Lescaudron, refiled an existing criminal complaint against CS. Subsequently, high-ranking CS bankers in Geneva were reinterrogated about this case, which dates back to the post-financial crisis period.

Iwanishvili intends to appeal the decision to close the investigation, keeping UBS’s legal team on their toes. This is partly because negotiations are still ongoing in other parts of the world.

Challenging Verdicts in Singapore and Bermuda

Last November, the major bank faced a setback in Singapore when a court ordered UBS to deposit compensation, including interest, totaling 770 million dollars, previously awarded to Ivanishvili.

Earlier, a CS subsidiary in Bermuda was ordered in a preliminary ruling to pay approximately 600 million dollars to the Georgian plaintiff.

This table summarizes key aspects of the legal developments:

GenevaTermination of money laundering probeRelief for CS and UBS
SingaporeCourt ruling against UBS770 million dollars compensation
BermudaPreliminary ruling against CS subsidiary600 million dollars payment ordered

The unfolding events indicate that the legal journey for UBS and Credit Suisse is far from over, as they navigate through these complex international disputes.

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