Living in Constant Fear: Credit Suisse Banker Trial in 10 Quotes

A visitor enters the Geneva courthouse in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. Credit Suisse was put on the defensive on the first day of the criminal trial of a former banker accused of taking millions from customer accounts as his victims demanded more information on what the lender did and didn’t do to rein in unauthorized trades. Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

• Frenchman’s trial ended Friday with five-year jail sentence
• Lescaudron was former ‘star’ of the bank’s Russia desk


The trial of former Credit Suisse wealth management “star” Patrice Lescaudron ended Friday in Geneva with his sentencing to five years in jail. The guilty verdict capped a two-week trial that yielded some memorable lines:

Credit Suisse has accused him of taking almost 45 million Swiss francs ($47.9 million) from clients through commissions and other unauthorized trades for his own benefit. During the trial, it emerged that he spent nearly $1 million on jewelry for his wife and prosecutors have proposed seizing his Swiss home and two apartments in Sardinia.

What People Said:

“I lived with constant fear. And when you are scared, you can do no matter what.” – Lescaudron

“It’s not a trial of the second-biggest bank in Switzerland, and it’s not a trial of oligarchs. It’s Lescaudron and him alone that must be judged on his actions before this court for his crimes.” — Vincent Jeanneret, lawyer for Credit Suisse.

“Mr. Lescaudron, you had one responsibility: to tell your clients when you incurred losses. You failed.” — Prosecutor Yves Bertossa

“When I left the house in the morning and locked the door, I told myself that day I will either be arrested or I will end up in hospital.” –Lescaudron

“I could not believe my ears when I heard it said — without blushing — that the bank’s internal controls had worked well.” — Alec Reymond, lawyer for plaintiff Yuri Sokolov.

“In a casino, when someone goes on a winning streak that person’s every move is then monitored. At Credit Suisse, someone who goes on a winning streak becomes an idolized star and all the surveillance cameras are turned off.” — Reymond

“I had no doubts about the activities of CS until 2015. For me, the bank was a god.” — Vitaly Malkin, Russian financier and plaintiff

“Her key mistake was to trust a Swiss bank, one of Switzerland’s two biggest.” — Marc Hassberger, lawyer for Russian businesswoman and plaintiff Olga Kurbatova

“He did everything to try and enrich his clients. His was more a sin of pride than a sin of greed.” — Simon Ntah, Lescaudron’s lawyer,

“There is a a washbasin and a message scratched into the wall ‘God is dead’ where this man has spent 2 years.” — Ntah said, describing Lescaudron’s cell