The Swiss bank Julius Baer will pay $79.7 million in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. This is after being implicated in a sprawling corruption probe surrounding FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body.
Julius Baer’s three-year deferred prosecution agreement resolves a money laundering conspiracy charge. They call for the Zurich-based bank to pay a $43.3 million criminal fine and forfeit $36.4 million. The forfeiture represents bribes that marketing executives paid soccer officials, said the Justice department. This is in exchange for broadcasting rights to soccer matches including the World Cup, and which a former Julius Baer banker helped launder.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mark Lesko in Brooklyn, New York, said in a statement that Julius Baer turned a blind eye to glaring red flags of money laundering. U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn didn’t accept the agreement though. If the bank complies with the agreement’s terms, no other punishment will be imposed. Funds that were set aside by the Julius Baer covers the payout. In April 2015, the FIFA probe has been unveiled by the Justice department. More than 40 defendants have been charged, and at least 30 have pleaded guilty.
Jorge Arzuaga, was sentenced to a three years’ probation. He is the former Julius Baer Banker. And this happened after he plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Swiss financial regulator FINMA has also imposed penalties for Julius Baer’s anti-money laundering shortfalls. They have ordered the bank to improve its controls and appoint an auditor, and reprimanding two former chief executives. In March, FINMA lifted a ban on Julius Baer making large acquisitions.