Today, a Geneva court sentenced former Credit Suisse wealth manager Patrice Lescaudron to five years in prison for executing a fraudulent scheme that made him tens of millions in Swiss francs. Lescaudron was considered a “star” of the bank’s Russia desk where he advised-and defrauded-high powered clients such as former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin.
Lescaudron admitted to falsifying trades and distributing false statements to cover mounting losses, primarily by taking money out of the accounts of Ivanishvili. The judge presiding over the case stated that Lescaudron “fooled the bank and the client” through a fraud in which he “copy-pasted signatures on documents so as to falsify transfer orders.” Ivanishvili’s lawyers say that Lescaudron caused the former Georgian leader to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lescaudron lived lavishly off his ill-gotten wealth, amassing 32 million swiss francs and purchasing houses in Switzerland and Italy. He even appeared in court wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with Ferrari, the name of the sports car he purchased.
Credit Suisse claims that Lescaudron violated the bank’s internal rules and that management was not aware of his misconduct. Laywers for Ivanishvili dispute this and have separately sued the bank for its alleged complicity in Lescaudron’s scheme.
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