Swiss national Jens Sturzenegger pleaded guilty to six money laundering charges linked to 1MDB.- Reuters
SINGAPORE: A former Falcon Private Bank branch manager was sentenced to 28 weeks jail and a fine of S$128,000 (RM398,100) here after he pleaded guilty to six counts of money laundering rules linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Swiss national Jens Sturzenegger, 42, was charged on Jan 5 with 16 counts including failing to report suspicious transactions tied to inflows of about US$1.265bil (RM5.658bil) into two accounts between March 21 and 25, 2013.
The remaining 10 charges were taken as read. Prosecution was seeking a sentence of 30-32 weeks imprisonment and fines totalling S$150,000 (RM466,450).
Sturzenegger, the first foreigner and the fifth person to be charged in relation to the 1MDB scandal, was also accused of lying to police and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) about his ties to tycoon Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.
Low is accused by the authorities around the world of being at the centre of alleged massive money laundering.
It is believed hundreds of millions of dollars have been transferred from accounts at Falcon to Low and his associates.
Falcon was shut down by regulators here last October, following similar action against BSI in May.
Falcon was accused of "a persistent and severe lack of understanding" of MAS' anti-money laundering regulations and fined S$4.3mil (RM13.38mil) here.
MAS said Sturzenegger's "improper conduct... had impaired the effectiveness of the Singapore branch's compliance function in discharging its responsibilities". He was arrested on Oct 5 and has been out on bail of S$80,000 (RM248,840). – The Straits Times/Asia News Network