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criminal conviction Former Swiss banker sentenced for money laundering in Venezuela

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Julius Baer Group is the third largest wealth manager in Switzerland.

(Keystone)

A former Swiss banker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a plot to launder $1.2 billion (CHF1.2 billion) from Venezuela's state-owned oil company. The case also implicates President Nicolas Maduro's stepsons.

The former Julius Baer banker, Matthias Krull, was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Miami, where he pleaded guilty on August 22. He admitted joining a network of money launderers that used real estate and false-investment schemes to hide funds taken from Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.

Two Americans familiar with the probe said Krull told prosecutors that the money laundering plot included Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's three stepsons. None of the stepsons have been charged and are not named in the criminal complaint that led to Krull's arrest.

According to his attorney, Krull is cooperating with prosecutors, and the judge in Monday's hearing said his sentence could be reduced if he provided “substantial assistance” to their investigation.

The US District Judge also imposed a $50,000 fine and ordered Krull to forfeit $600,000, or the amount in fees that he earned for helping launder funds. The former banker will remain free on a $5 million bail until April.

Keystone-SDA/Bloomberg/jdp

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