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Swiss bank Julius Baer to pay US$79.7 million in FIFA corruption settlement

Swiss bank Julius Baer to pay US$79.7 million in FIFA corruption settlement

The logo of Swiss private bank Julius Baer is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland, on Feb 1, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

NEW YORK: The Swiss bank Julius Baer has agreed to pay US$79.7 million in a settlement with the US Department of Justice after being implicated in a sprawling corruption probe surrounding FIFA, the world's soccer governing body.

Julius Baer has entered a three-year deferred prosecution agreement to resolve accusations it engaged in a money laundering conspiracy.

The agreement includes a US$43.3 million criminal fine and a US$36.4 million forfeiture. It was accepted by US District Judge Pamela Chen at a hearing in Brooklyn, New York.

Switzerland's third-largest private bank has said it has cooperated with the Justice Department since 2015.

It has also said it has upgraded its compliance controls and dismissed some clients.

The Justice Department unveiled the FIFA probe in April 2015.

More than 40 defendants, including soccer and marketing executives, were charged, and at least 30 have pleaded guilty.

In June 2017, former Julius Baer banker Jorge Arzuaga pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for helping an Argentine sports marketing executive pay bribes to the president of Argentina's soccer federation, who was a FIFA vice president.

Arzuaga was sentenced last November to probation.

Swiss financial regulator FINMA has also imposed penalties for Julius Baer's anti-money laundering shortfalls, ordering the bank to improve its controls and appoint an auditor, and reprimanding two former chief executives.

FINMA lifted a ban on Julius Baer making large acquisitions in March.

Source: Reuters

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