Former UBS Banker Loses Appeal Over Selling Data To Germany| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 26 May 2022 02:39 GMT

Former UBS Banker Loses Appeal Over Selling Data To Germany


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) The Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne. © Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Swiss Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by a former UBS banker who had been convicted of industrial espionage and other charges for passing secret bank data about wealthy clients to the German tax authorities.

This content was published on May 13, 2022 - 10:12 May 13, 2022 - 10:12 Keystone-SDA/Reuters/sb
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The former employee was sentenced to 40 months in prison plus fines and court costs worth more than 125,000 Swiss francs ($125,200) when a lower court found him guilty in 2019 of spying and money laundering.

An appeals court in 2020 upheld the verdict, as did the Swiss Federal Court in a ruling released on Thursday. It dismissed his argument that the lower court had conducted proceedings in an inadmissible manner.

The 48-year-old man, who has denied any wrongdoing, was accused of selling at least 233 sets of bank client data to the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia for about €1.45 million (CHF1.6 million) in 2012.

He was employed by UBS between 2005 and 2012 and apparently bought an apartment on the Spanish island of Mallorca with the money paid by the German authorities but sold it again later.

The defendant did not attend court proceedings and he dodged the earlier trial. He reportedly lives in neighbouring Germany and is unlikely to be extradited to Switzerland.

Decade-old dispute

At least five former bank employees have been convicted by Swiss courts for selling stolen client data to Germany and France since 2011.

The UBS banker case is part of a decade-old dispute between Switzerland and Germany as well as other countries over untaxed assets.

Two years ago, Switzerland implemented regulations on the automatic exchange of fiscal data about residents' international accounts in a bid to avert cross-border tax evasion.

Switzerland, whose banks have paid out billions to other countries to settle charges they helped foreigners hide wealth, has aggressively prosecuted whistle-blowers who leak banking data.

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