29/07/2022

Credit Suisse Woes Spread to Singapore With $800 Million Trial

Credit Suisse Group AG’s legal battle with billionaire client Bidzina Ivanishvili has spread to Singapore as the Georgian gears up for trial with a unit of the Swiss lender over what he claims are $800 million in losses tied to a rogue banker.

Fresh from a big win in Bermuda earlier this year, the former Georgian premier is now suing a different subsidiary of Credit Suisse as part of his campaign to claw back profits frittered away by convicted fraudster Patrice Lescaudron.

Barring a last-minute injunction, the case will go to trial in September in Singapore, threatening fresh negative headlines for Credit Suisse after repeated scandals and the appointment of a third CEO in less than three years.

The claim, part of litigation that began in the Asian city-state five years ago, relates to what Ivanishvili says was the reckless oversight of his fortune by Credit Suisse Trust Ltd. (Singapore). Lescaudron, a former star banker, was convicted of fraud in 2018 for a near decade-long scheme in which he forged signatures to enable unauthorized trades on his clients’ accounts to try and stay ahead of growing losses. Ivanishvili, a former prime minister of Georgia, was by far Lescaudron’s biggest clients with whom Credit Suisse set up investment vehicles in Singapore, Bermuda and New Zealand.

Ivanishvili’s London lawyers said they’re seeking about $800 million in total, a sum derived from misappropriated assets as well as losses that would not have incurred if the money had been prudently invested. They declined to comment ahead of the trial.

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