According to the court, Credit Suisse owes millions to the billionaire ex-prime minister of Georgia

Credit Suisse owes billionaire and former Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to protect his money in assets stolen by a manager, a Singapore court has ruled.

Credit Suisse Billionaire Lawsuit

FILE – The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen on a building in Zurich, Switzerland, October 21, 2015. On Friday, May 26, 2023, a Singapore court ruled that Credit Suisse owes 100 percent to billionaire and former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili. millions of dollars for failing to protect money in a trust that was hijacked by a manager, the latest scandal for the Swiss bank whose years of problems led to its takeover by a rival. (Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP, file)

The Associated Press

LONDON — Credit Suisse owes former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to protect the billionaire’s money, which was held in an asset stolen by a manager, a Singapore court ruled on Friday, the latest scandal for the Swiss bank, which has struggled for years. was taken over by the bank. a rival.

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In 2004, Ivanisvili invested more than $1.1 billion in a trust overseen by the bank’s Singapore subsidiary, Credit Suisse Trust Limited, and an employee managing the trust “misappropriated many millions of dollars” over a nine-year period before being caught and jailed, the Singapore International. The Commercial Court announced.

Bidzina, who made his fortune as a businessman in Russia before serving as Georgia’s prime minister from 2012 to 2013, is suing the Swiss bank for about $1.2 billion, saying it failed to properly manage the trust and keep its assets safe.

“The ruling published today is wrong and raises very significant legal issues,” Credit Suisse said in a written statement. “Credit Suisse Trust Limited strongly intends to appeal.”

The bank previously admitted it failed to take reasonable steps to protect the trust’s assets in late 2008 and agreed to pay more than $79.4 million in a settlement last year.

“The defendant must compensate the plaintiffs for their losses,” which are calculated to be $926 million, minus the settlement amount, Judge Patricia Bergin said in a ruling.

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He added that any payments in a related case in Bermuda should be reduced so there is no “double refund”.

The bank appealed a Bermuda Supreme Court ruling that Credit Suisse failed to prevent the “fraudulent mismanagement” of Ivanishvili’s assets in two life insurance policies with Credit Suisse Life, a subsidiary based on the island.

Ivanishvili sought nearly $554 million in damages in this case.

The once-venerable Swiss lender has seen a series of scandals over the years that have hit the heart of its business, from bad bets on hedge funds to preventing money laundering by a Bulgarian cocaine ring to allegations that it failed to report secret offshore assets. accounts used by wealthy Americans to avoid paying US taxes.

The Swiss government hastily orchestrated the $3.25 billion takeover of Credit Suisse by Credit Suisse UBS in March after Credit Suisse’s shares plunged and clients quickly pulled their money out on fears the collapse could further damage global financial markets, two U.S. after the bank failure.

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