Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Credit Suisse unit agrees to pay bondholders $22.6 mln in bribery case

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Credit Suisse Group AG’s European subsidiary that pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud investors in Mozambican bonds has agreed it owes them $22.6 million in restitution.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge William Kuntz late Tuesday to order the subsidiary to pay restitution to 18 investors in Mozambican bonds Credit Suisse arranged. Much of the bond proceeds were diverted via kickbacks to Credit Suisse bankers and Mozambique officials, prosecutors have said.

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The subsidiary, Credit Suisse Securities Europe, agreed to the amount, according to the filing. It pleaded guilty to conspiracy last year as part of a $475 million settlement with American and British authorities.

A Credit Suisse spokesperson declined to comment on Wednesday.

Kuntz will consider the request at the subsidiary’s sentencing hearing scheduled for Friday in Brooklyn.

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The charges stem from nearly $1 billion in bond offerings and a syndicated loan Credit Suisse helped to arrange between 2013 to 2016 to finance a tuna fishing industry project in Mozambique.

In October, Credit Suisse entered a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, in which it accepted responsibility for defrauding bondholders about where the money went.

As part of the deal, Credit Suisse agreed to pay restitution to harmed investors in the 2016 bonds.

Court filings listed the proposed payouts to institutional investors, including nearly $5 million to New York-based hedge fund NWI Management and $4.3 million to asset manager AllianceBernstein.

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The case is United States v. Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd, No. 1:21-cr-00520, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

For the government: Hiral Mehta of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York; and David Fuhr and Margaret Moeser of the Department of Justice

For Credit Suisse: Matthew Herrington of Paul Hastings(NOTE: A previous story included an incorrect reference to Credit Suisse’s role in the bond transactions. The bank helped arrange the bonds.)

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