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Ex-Credit Suisse Banker Admits Kickbacks in Mozambique Scam

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Andrew Pearse among ex-bankers charged in $2 billion scandal

By BLOOMBERG

It’s not clear if Pearse is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors

Andrew Pearse on March 8. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A former Credit Suisse Group AG banker admitted taking millions of dollars in kickbacks as part of a scam that involved as much as $2 billion in loans to Mozambique state-owned companies.
Andrew Pearse, 49, a former managing director, made the admission Friday as he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

It’s not clear whether Pearse is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors. His plea agreement and all other related records were placed under seal. His lawyer, Lisa Cahill, and Mark Bini, a federal prosecutor, both declined to comment after court.

Pearse is the second former Credit Suisse banker to plead guilty in the fraud and money-laundering scam. Detelina Subeva, a former vice president in the bank’s global financing unit, pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to launder funds.
Karina Byrne, a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment on the case.

Read More: Ex-Credit Suisse Bankers Charged in Mozambique Loan Scandal

Pearse admitted helping arrange bank loans to three companies owned and controlled by the Mozambican government and got millions of dollars in kickbacks in return. He identified the companies as Proindicus SA, Mocambicana de Atum SA, or “EMATUM,” and Mozambique Asset Management, or “MAM.”

Proindicus was to perform coastal surveillance, EMATUM was to engage in tuna fishing while MAM was to build and maintain shipyards, prosecutors said.

Pearse, who could face up to 20 years in prison, agreed to forfeit $2.5 million as well as other unspecified properties. He was freed on a $2.5 million bond and allowed to return to his home in the U.K. He’s to be monitored electronically and he was ordered to check in weekly with his lawyers in the U.K. as well as call the FBI agents handling the case once a week.
U.S. District Judge William Kuntz didn’t set a sentencing date.

Privinvest Connection

Pearse said that he was aware of risks posed of doing business in the region. He said the bribes and illicit payments originated with officials at Privinvest Group, an Abu Dhabi-based holding company whose units include a shipbuilder. Privinvest was hired to provide equipment and services to complete the maritime projects, according to prosecutors.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: July 20, 2019 at 01:11AM

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