Russian oligarch sues Credit Suisse over alleged $515m loss

Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin is suing Credit Suisse over the $515 million loss he claims was the fault of a former adviser to the Swiss banking giant, the Sonntagszeitung daily reported on Sunday.

Malkin, a Monegasque resident and former business partner of former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has hired American firm Quinn Emanuel to sue Credit Suisse in the case involving Patrice Lescaudron, the newspaper reports.

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Lescaudron was a former private banker at Credit Suisse in Geneva but was sacked in 2015. A Swiss court later sentenced him to five years in prison in 2018 for fraud and forgery, Swiss media reported. Lescaudron committed suicide in 2020.

The bank told AFP it “rejects all allegations”.

“Credit Suisse has been recognized as the aggrieved party by all criminal authorities seized of this matter,” he said in a statement.

The latest case comes after a Bermuda judge ruled in March that Ivanishvili suffered a $553 million loss due to defaults at a Credit Suisse subsidiary in Bermuda.

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The ruling said the Credit Suisse subsidiary failed to prevent Lescaudron’s fraud because “it prioritized the revenue generated by Mr. Lescaudron for Credit Suisse over the interests of its clients.”

Credit Suisse said it would appeal the decision. The bank insists that Lescaudron acted alone.

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“All investigations into this matter carried out by the bank, the FINMA (Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority) and the criminal authorities since 2015 have shown that the former relationship manager was not supported by any other Credit Suisse employee in his criminal activities,” he says, referring to all the claims against Lescaudron.

Swiss business news agency AWP reported this week that prosecutors have launched separate legal proceedings against the bank following Lescaudron’s death.

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