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Report: Credit Suisse has paid Georgian billionaire $210m

Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia

Credit Suisse Group AG has revealed that it has paid $210 million to Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in a long-running legal saga, Bloomberg has reported.

Bloomberg said last month the bank had paid in the sum “over time for the proceedings across all the plaintiff’s accounts.”

Mr Ivanishvili, who is also a former prime minister of the country of Georgia, claims a fraud scheme run by a rogue banker employed by Credit Suisse had resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.

He has been embroiled in legal proceedings, including in the Bermuda courts, against the Swiss banking giant, as he seeks to get back the money he says he has lost.

The rogue banker, Patrice Lescaudron, was convicted and imprisoned for fraud over a scheme he ran to take money from Ivanishvili’s accounts to cover growing losses among other clients’ portfolios.

The news of the payments emerged amid closing arguments at a two-day hearing in Singapore, which will mark the end of a trial that began in September 2022, said Bloomberg, adding that the statement by the bank is the most detailed admission yet of how much the legal wrangling is costing Credit Suisse globally.

The tycoon had sued the bank’s trust unit for $800 million in damages and lost income he said he would have made over the years if his money had been safely invested, they said.

The ruling in the Bermuda case makes the stakes for the Singapore trial high, said Bloomberg. Mr Ivanishvili won a $607 million judgment from the Bermuda court given by Chief Justice Narinder Hargun, who ruled that Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) had turned a blind eye to Lescaudron’s fraudulent management of the policies. CS Life has appealed that decision.

Bloomberg also reported that Lee Eng Beng, a lawyer for the trust, conceded that Credit Suisse agreed to compensate Mr Ivanishvili for failing to “police the perimeter” of his wealth from theft by Lescaudron from the end of 2008 onward.

There is “a duty to compensate for that loss”, he said in his closing arguments, which Bloomberg called an attempt to limit any broader fallout.

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Published March 03, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated March 03, 2023 at 7:55 am)

Report: Credit Suisse has paid Georgian billionaire $210m

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