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Credit Suisse saga: Federal Reserve bars fugitive private bankers

The Federal Reserve Board said Monday it barred five former private bankers and senior managers of Credit Suisse AG from working in the banking industry.

The five individuals are Markus Walder, Marco Parenti Adami, Susanne Ruegg Meier, Michele Bergantino, and Roger Schaerer.

They were indicted in 2011 for conspiracy to defraud the U.S government by helping U.S. citizens evade federal income taxes using bank accounts that weren’t declared to U.S. tax authorities.

In May last year, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty in the U.S. to a criminal charge of conspiring to aid tax evasion. It paid $2.6 billion in penalties.

Walder, a Swiss citizen, was the head of Credit Suisse’s North American Offshore Banking business and was responsible for the bank’s undeclared U.S. cross-border banking business. As a director within Zurich-based Credit Suisse, Walder supervised teams of private bankers in Switzerland as well as Credit Suisse’s representative office in New York. 

Adami, Meier, and Bergantino, all residents of Switzerland, were private bankers who provided banking and investment advice to U.S. customers who maintained undeclared Swiss bank accounts. 

Schaerer, a dual Swiss and U.S. citizen, ran the New York representative office of Credit Suisse and was the bank’s senior representative in the United States. 

None of the five has entered the United States to answer the indictment.

The Fed said Monday “the continued participation by Walder, Adami, Meier, Bergantino, and Schaerer in the affairs of a depository institution would impair public confidence in the institution.” 

The prohibition is effective indefinitely unless the criminal charges against them are dismissed.

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The Federal Reserve Board’s Notice of Prohibition Issued Pursuant to Section 8(g)(1)(A) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Docket No. 15-012-G-I dated May 4, 2015) is here (pdf).

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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