The court found the four bankers helping Sergei Roldugin, a close and prominent friend of Putin, deposit millions in bank accounts in 2014 and 2016. The men were unidentified under the Swiss privacy rules. However, the Swiss government called Roldugin “Putin’s Wallet” due to an alleged Money Laundering case.
Judge Sebestian Appeli’s Statement
Defendants of the case ignored red flags already raised such as political and economic circumstances in Russia, middleman’s involvement and offshoring and intermediary accounts. All these activities lead to the stages of Money Laundering. Undoubtedly, it was proven in 2016 that Roldugin was not the owner of these accounts and that the convicted bankers should have investigated deeply when the accounts were operational and the assets were suspicious.
As Roldugin is a musician and not a businessman, the amount of money in accounts totaled 10 million Swiss francs which is suspicious for a musician to have. So, the bankers showed negligence and ignorance to the evident and prominent red flags.
The Court sentenced them to jail with fines of $809,000 amounting to €743,400. The spokesman of the convicted four bankers said that they will appeal against their conviction.
The prosecutor Jan Hoffmann said that it is an important sign and advancement against Money Laundering in Switzerland.