Justice in Zurich sentences Pierin Vincenz to three years and nine months in prison. She admits Raiffeisen’s ex-boss guilty of dishonest appeal management, breach of trust, forgery of titles and other offences. His lawyer has already announced that he will appeal.
In its judgment of Wednesday morning, the Zurich court also upheld the charges of fraud, attempted fraud and passive corruption in certain cases. He did not go as far in his sentence as the indictment of the Public Prosecution Service, which had demanded six years in prison against Pierin Vincenz. The defense had asked for his full acquittal.
The 106 days in preventive detention will be deducted from the sentence imposed on the former Raiffeisen boss. The latter is also punished with a conditional fine of 280 day fines of 3000 francs. He will also have to repay the bank 236,000 francs. The fine carries a probationary period of two years.
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Four years for his sidekick
Another main defendant in the trial, the ex-boss of credit card company Aduno Beat Stocker, was sentenced to four years in prison and a 160-day suspended fine of 3,000 francs. He is found guilty on the same counts, except for breach of trust. Added to this are incitement to unfair management and violation of trade secrets.
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According to the Court, Pierin Vincenz and Beat Stocker placed hidden stakes in companies intended to be acquired by Raiffeisen or Aduno, with the sole aim of enriching themselves. The Public Prosecution Service estimates the criminal sum at 9 million francs for Pierin Vincenz and 16 million for Beat Stocker. The duo must repay 2.6 million francs to a bought out company.
Three others of the seven accused, including a Geneva promoter, have been fined for assisting the duo in their illegal dealings. As for the other two defendants, one is acquitted, the other sees the proceedings against him closed because of his poor health.
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Sometimes high criminal energy
Pierin Vincenz and Beat Stocker sometimes showed “high criminal energy” and their responsibility in this case was “significant,” said the presiding judge.
For the latter, Pierin Vincenz abused the great trust placed in him as boss. In its defense, no “ordinary citizen” was harmed and the Raiffeisenbank had no real control mechanism at the time of the alleged facts.
Unlimited expense reports
Pierin Vincenz was also accused of financing large private expenses through expense reports: 200,000 francs for visits to strip clubs and 250,000 francs for travel. He justified this expenditure by the need to maintain his relationships with his customers.
For the judges, it is precisely a case of unfair management. “Maintaining relationships also has limits” that the ex-boss of Raiffeisen has largely exceeded, the court president underlined. His private trips to Dubai or with his club of amateur chefs in Mallorca at the expense of the bank fall under the same category of offences.
“Job interview” via Tinder
The Court also upheld the breach of trust charge for certain purely private costs. Such is the case with a date in a luxury restaurant via the dating application Tinder. Pierin Vincenz had described it as a job interview.
The same goes for the renovation of a hotel room he had destroyed. The principal concerned will have to repay approximately 300,000 francs to the Raiffeisenbank for its unlawful expense claims.
Occupation of Pierin Vincenz
For certain facts alleged by the prosecution, the court had to acquit the main defendant for lack of clear evidence. In addition, the judges reduced the sentence they planned to hand out by nine months, because of the intense media coverage that even cited confidential documents.
Pierin Vincenz left the court with a closed face and did not respond to the media. His demeanor is in stark contrast to that at the opening of the trial at the beginning of the year, where he smiled and was even confident. His lawyer said this verdict was “false” and that he would appeal.
For his part, the public prosecutor said he was satisfied with this verdict, which he found “nuanced”. Professor of criminal law Mark Pieth welcomes the judges’ ruling. He adds that the penalties are higher than many observers had expected.
nr/vajo with the ats