17/03/2020 • Seeking Alpha

US Prosecutors Believe Credit Suisse Can Be Held Criminally Liable For Employee Crimes, Reuters Reports

A $2 billion corruption case in Mozambique may have far reaching implications for Credit Suisse Group.

The case is related to loans devised by Credit Suisse from 2013-2016 to help develop Mozambique’s coastal defenses, shipping fleet, and fishing industry.

According to a recent Reuters report, a group of US prosecutors investigating Credit Suisse Group’s role in the Mozambique case have said that they believe they have evidence of Credit Suisse’s culpability after three former bankers pleaded guilty last year. A source told Reuters that Credit Suisse can be held criminally liable for its employees’ crimes if they were committed in the scope of their role and at least partly benefited the bank.

The revelation comes at a time when Credit Suisse is facing a similar situation in Switzerland, where an investigation into the bank’s role in a near $1 billion fraud is already under way.

In that case, former Credit Suisse wealth management executive Patrice Lescaudron was criminally convicted of executing a fraud over seven years. Credit Suisse has maintained it did not know how Lescaudron managed to circumvent the bank’s controls and has even described itself as a victim.

The true victims of Lescaudron’s crimes, clients who lost almost $1 billion, have time and again asked the bank to provide answers and have asked various courts to intervene.

In recent months, courts in New York and Bermuda have ordered Credit Suisse to turn over documents related to the Lescaudron affair. Now, with the revelation from US prosecutors, it appears that Credit Suisse may ultimately be held responsible.

Victims, including Georgian ex-Prime Minister Bidsina Ivanishvili, and other Eastern Europeans, published a website entitled “CS Victims” and have publicly asked Credit Suisse leadership to address their concerns.

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