UBS Europe is under investigation by prosecutors in Milan for possible money laundering and obstructing the work of regulators as it allegedly helped an asset-management firm defraud 117 clients of about €6m ($6.6m), both Reuters and Bloomberg reported.
Sofia Sgr used UBS as an intermediary to deposit and move funds for its clients between 2013 and 2017, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The sources said the investigation is over, and that prosecutors are expected to bring charges and request a trial. UBS will face charges forhiding the fraud by obstructing authorities and not reporting suspicious operations, according to the people.
The sources said 23 people including the former head of UBS in Italy, Fabio Innocenzi, had been probed. Under Italian laws both UBS Europe and Sofia SGR can be held responsible for the actions of their employees.
Prosecutors have looked in to whether Sofia committed fraud by applying higher-than-average fees to 117 clients and by failing to disclose conflicts of interest on deals that generated losses for customers, according to Reuters. Milan-based Sofia Sgr was liquidated after the case became public.
A spokesman for Innocenzi declined to comment. UBS said in a statement it did not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.