Credit Suisse Owes Millions to Georgia’s Rich Ex-prime Minister

A Singapore court ruled on Friday that Credit Suisse owes former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hundreds of millions of dollars for not protecting the billionaire’s money in a trust that was stolen by a manager. This is the latest scandal for the Swiss bank, which was taken over by a rival after years of problems.

Ivanishvili put more than $1.1 billion into a trust that was managed by the bank’s Singapore branch, Credit Suisse Trust Limited, in 2004. The Singapore International Commercial Court said that the employee in charge of the trust “misappropriated many millions of dollars” over nine years before being caught and sent to prison.

Bidzina made a lot of money as a businessman in Russia before becoming Georgia’s prime minister from 2012 to 2013. From 2012 to 2013, he sued a Swiss bank for about $1.2 billion, saying that the bank didn’t manage the trust well and keep its assets safe.

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Credit Suisse said in a written statement, “The judgment that came out today is wrong and raises very important legal questions.” “Credit Suisse Trust Limited plans to pursue an appeal with all its might.”

The bank has already admitted that, as of the end of 2008, it did not do enough to protect the trust’s assets, and last year, as part of a settlement, it promised to pay more than $79.4 million.

In a decision, Judge Patricia Bergin said, “The defendant is responsible for making up for the plaintiffs’ loss, which has been calculated at $926 million, less the amount of the settlement.”

She also said that any money paid out in a similar case in Bermuda must be cut so that there is no “double recovery.”

The bank is appealing a ruling by the Supreme Court of Bermuda that Credit Suisse didn’t do enough to stop “fraudulent mismanagement” of Ivanishvili’s assets in two life insurance policies he took out with Credit Suisse Life, a subsidiary based on the island territory.

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In that case, Ivanishvili asked for damages of almost $554 million.

Over the years, the once-respected Swiss lender has been hit by a series of scandals that have hurt its core business. These scandals include bad bets on hedge funds, failure to stop a Bulgarian drug ring from laundering money, and accusations that it didn’t report secret offshore accounts that rich Americans used to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

The Swiss government quickly arranged for UBS to buy Credit Suisse for $3.25 billion in March, after Credit Suisse’s stock dropped and customers quickly pulled their money out of the bank out of fear that its failure could further shake up global financial markets after the failures of two U.S. banks.

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