The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Ex-Kaderbanker on Trial for Millions of Fraud at St. Gallen Cantonal Court

A former employee of a major bank and leader of a sect is accused of defrauding various people of a total of 4.8 million Swiss francs. He was initially sentenced to seven years in prison. On Wednesday, he will appear before the St. Gallen Cantonal Court to plead not guilty to most of the charges. The prosecution is seeking to increase the sentence. The accused is alleged to have misused money entrusted to him by family members and acquaintances between 2007 and 2019, and to have obtained loans through false statements and wrongly claimed unemployment benefits in order to finance his luxurious lifestyle. The claims of the victims amounted to 4.8 million Swiss francs. One of the victims was a wealthy member of the Christian fundamentalist sect Adullam from the Toggenburg region. The father of the accused had founded the religious community. Since his death in 2016, the defendant is said to have been part of the sect's leadership. In April 2022, the District Court of St. Gallen sentenced the now 45-year-old to a prison sentence of seven years for fraud, embezzlement, breach of trust, forgery, tax fraud and other offenses. He appealed the verdict. At the appeal hearing on Wednesday, the accused is requesting acquittal of all charges except fraud against the unemployment insurance and one forgery. He is also requesting a partially suspended sentence of no more than two years, of which 18 months are to be suspended with a probation period of three years. He is also asking for the state's claim for 1.5 million Swiss francs to be waived, and for the civil claims of the private plaintiffs to be reduced and confiscated assets to be returned. The prosecution, on the other hand, is seeking to increase the sentence to eight years in prison and a five-year ban on any activity in the financial, real estate and trust industries after the accused's release from prison.

©Keystone/SDA

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