Ex-Cayman banker dodges jail term in Switzerland

| 24/08/2016
CNS Business

Rudolf Elmer

(CNS Business): A former offshore banker who was based in the Cayman Islands before he blew the whistle on his former bosses at Julius Bäer, accusing them of assisting clients with tax evasion and leaking sensitive account information to Wikileaks, will not go to prison. Rudolf Elmer (60) was given a 14-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of forgery and making threats in the long-running case. The Swiss court rejected prosecution demands to convict Elmer of breaching banking secrecy laws after the defence successfully argued that he was an employee in Cayman and therefore outside the jurisdiction of Swiss banking secrecy laws.

According to the English language web-based news service, Swiss Info, and other European media, Elmer’s sentence was suspended for three years based on his conviction for making threats against Julius Bäer after being fired in 2002. Swiss prosecutors had insisted that Elmer was “not a whistleblower, but an ordinary criminal”.

But the court found Elmer not guilty on most of those counts against him and even stopped short of a professional disqualification.

The former Cayman-based banker ran the bank’s operations here for eight years before he was sacked. He has been in the spotlight for almost a decade after he began threatening the bank and then leaked the information.

Dividing opinion in international finance, some have described Elmer as a legitimate whistleblower who exposed corrupt banking while critics have accused him of narcissism and being delusional – partially supported by psychiatric evaluations presented to the Swiss courts.

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Category: Finance, Financial Crime

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