MAS issues prohibition orders against ex-UBS employee for forgery, falsifying emails

MAS issues prohibition orders against ex-UBS employee for forgery, falsifying emails

The Monetary Authority of Singapore headquarters. (File photo: TODAY/Jason Quah)

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders against a former UBS employee for forging documents and falsifying emails.

Paris Michele, a former UBS representative in Singapore, was issued three-year prohibition orders for his dishonest conduct, said MAS in a media release on Monday (Jun 17).

At the time, Michele's responsibilities at UBS included conducting due diligence on customers.

In 2013, he forged letters from foreign law firms to deceive UBS into believing that certain clients were tax compliant in their home countries.

During his employment with UBS, he was also tasked to conduct background checks on people dealing with UBS on behalf of other financial intermediaries. MAS' investigation found that the he had falsified emails on such background checks.

He was convicted of forgery charges and fined S$13,200 on Jun 14, 2017. Michele did not profit from the misconduct and UBS did not suffer monetary losses as a result of his forgery, said the authority.

Under the prohibition orders, Michele is banned from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act and from providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act.

He is also banned from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market and financial advisory services firm under the Acts.

“Financial services professionals play a pivotal role in maintaining Singapore’s status as a responsible and trusted financial centre," said MAS' assistant managing director (policy, payments and financial crime) Loo Siew Yee.

"Michele's deceitful behaviour, which involved forging of customer due diligence documents, could have seriously compromised UBS' processes to combat money laundering and terrorism financing," said Ms Loo.

"His subsequent acts of falsifying other documents demonstrate a clear pattern of dishonesty. Such misconduct must be dealt with firmly to preserve the integrity of our markets," she added.

Source: CNA/nc(aj)