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Credit Suisse convicted in cocaine cash laundering case
Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court convicted Credit Suisse on Monday for failing to prevent money-laundering by a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang/
It was the country's first criminal trial of one of its major banks.
The trial, which featured testimony about murders and money stuffed into suitcases and is seen as a test case for prosecutors taking a tougher stance against the country's banks, resulted in the conviction of a former employee for money laundering.
The judges evaluated whether Credit Suisse and the former employee took sufficient steps to stop a cocaine-trafficking organization from laundering money through the bank between 2004 and 2008.
The court said it found deficiencies within Credit Suisse both with regard to the management of client relations with the criminal organization and with regard to the monitoring of the implementation of anti-money laundering rules.
According to the court, the deficiencies enabled the withdrawal of the criminal organization's assets, which was the basis for the conviction of the bank's former employee for qualified money laundering.
The presiding judge added that Credit Suisse could have prevented the infringement if it had fulfilled its organizational obligations.
A $2 million ($2.1 million) fine was imposed on Credit Suisse. The court also ordered the bank to forfeit more than 19 million francs, which was the amount that could not be confiscated due to internal problems at Credit Suisse, as well as the confiscation of assets worth more than 12 million francs that the drug gang held in accounts at Credit Suisse.
The court sentenced the former employee, who cannot be identified because of Swiss privacy laws, to a suspended 20-month prison term as well as a fine for money laundering.