A criminal investigation into six Monaco bankers, which has been ongoing for eight years, is very likely to culminate in court proceedings during the current judicial year, especially so following the appointment of a top Parisian lawyer as Monaco’s Attorney General.
The allegations have been in the public domain since Bloomberg published a lengthy report on the long-running investigation this August. The story has since been picked up by other European media outlets, including NEWS.MC.
What the bankers did for Amore
Apart from the half dozen Monaco bankers, the central figure in the case is Italian businessman Fabrizio Amore, an individual who was very fond of depositing cash and valuables in Monaco. He became a favoured client of private bankers at several Monaco banks.
According to an 88-page judicial report seen by Bloomberg – which suggests it was leaked to the media outlet, a manager at Banque Havilland suggested ‘quietly’ storing cash in a safe deposit box after too many cash deposits of 150,000 euros. A one- time Banque Havilland chief financial officer, told investigators: “As far as the bank was concerned, the funds deposited in cash stemmed from tax evasion and that didn’t trigger alarms at the bank – even for an amount of 450,000 euros.”
An employee of Edmond de Rothschild witnessed Amore entering the bank with a bag full of banknotes and leaving empty-handed. In all, he allegedly entrusted 657,000 euros to Edmond de Rothschild.
At Société Générale investigators found a virtual gold mine in safe deposit boxes – 800,000 euros in cash, diamonds valued at 474,000 euros and 132 watches.
A lawyer for Amore has claimed that Amore’s deposits in Monaco were legal proceeds from business on which all taxes had been paid in Italy. A criminal case against 66 year-old Amore continues in Rome, where prosecutors allege that the illicit funds are the profit of skimming funds from public construction contracts.
NEWS.MC understands that two of the Monaco bankers face money-laundering charges – with a possible jail sentence of 10 years – while the other four are being prosecuted for failing to report suspicious transactions while holding compliance roles, an offence punishable by a fine. No individuals at Société Générale face charges and none of the banks themselves have been charged.
One of the six bankers facing trial – who worked for a fourth bank – is alleged to have enabled the laundering of cash for other clients as well as for Amore.
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PHOTO: Société Générale in Monaco