Former HSBC Banker Beats Charges in $1.8 Billion French Tax Case
29 Aug 2019

A former executive at HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss private bank was cleared in a probe where his boss pleaded guilty to helping wealthy clients hide assets worth at least 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

Judah Elmaleh, 60, had been charged three years ago over allegations he approached French residents to encourage them to move funds to Switzerland and helped clients evade taxes, but Paris judges decided the case should be dropped. HSBC fired Elmaleh in 2012 after saying it had lost faith in him amid a separate money-laundering probe targeting his three brothers.

The investigative judges considered there wasn’t clear evidence of the involvement in 2006 and 2007 of Elmaleh, who was in charge of the Mediterranean-Israel department as well as “Diamonds and Jewelry” at the time. The previously unreported non-public decision dated Jan. 4 also notes that Elmaleh’s testimony was useful in building the larger case against the lender.

The same month Elmaleh was cleared, the chief executive officer of HSBC’s Swiss private bank pleaded guilty to similar charges and was fined 500,000 euros. That came more than a year after HSBC paid 300 million euros to resolve allegations it faced in the same case.

By Gaspard Sebag, Bloomberg, 28 August 2019

Read more at Bloomberg

Photo (cropped and edited): Danesman1 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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