Swiss bank to pay $79m in FIFA corruption fines

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A Swiss bank implicated in FIFA corruption investigations said on Monday it has agreed to a settlement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice and set aside $79.7 million to pay expected fines.

In 2017, a former banker with Julius Baer pleaded guilty in federal court in New York for his part in managing accounts that laundered bribes for South American football officials.

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The Zurich-based Julius Baer bank said the agreement sees the bank “entering into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement” and financial settlement to be charged against its accounts for 2020.

“Julius Baer anticipates that it will execute a final resolution in this matter with the DOJ shortly,” the bank said.

The bank has cooperated with American authorities since 2015, when a sprawling investigation of corruption in international football was unsealed.

They included Julio Grondona, who was FIFA’s former senior vice president and finance committee chairman when he died in 2014.

The bank said on Monday it reacted to the investigations by “de-risking the business,” including by “discontinuing certain individual relationships.”

Julius Baer was also penalised in February by Switzerland’s financial regulator for failing in its duty to combat money laundering, including in its ties to FIFA officials.

The ongoing American investigation has seen more than 40 football and marketing officials, and agencies, either convicted, make guilty pleas or be indicted.

Some are awaiting sentence or have yet to be extradited from their home countries.