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Singapore sentences ex-BSI banker to additional jail time

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

(Reuters) - A jailed a former wealth manager of Swiss for four and a half years on Wednesday for money laundering and cheating in a case linked to an investigation involving the Malaysian fund 1MDB.

The former banker, Yeo Jiawei, is serving a 30-month term on charges of perverting the course of justice by urging witnesses to lie to police and destroy evidence during the investigation into illicitly transferred funds linked to Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Yeo, 34, who denied perverting the course of justice last year, pleaded guilty to money laundering and cheating on Wednesday.

"The two schemes to secretly profit were dishonestly concealed from ... and resulted in the accused earning in excess of US$3.5m in illicit profits," the public prosecutor said.

Prosecutors also allege that Yeo played a central role in the illicit movement of S$23.9m (US$17.3m) of 1MDB-linked funds both while he was working at the now defunct Singapore, and afterwards.

Singapore's central announced in May that it has ended its review of banks with 1MDB-linked transactions.

As part of its two-year review, shut down the local units of and Falcon due to failures of money laundering controls and improper conduct by senior management, froze millions of dollars in accounts and charged several private bankers.

A spokesman for was not immediately available for comment on Yeo's sentencing.

Stefano Coduri, group chief executive of Bank, stepped down after the closure of its operations last year and the said it had undertaken steps to strengthen management, including introducing a new chief risk officer and appointing a new group legal counsel.

Two other former staffers have been convicted and sentenced on charges stemming from the money-laundering investigation linked to 1MDB.

Founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who previously chaired its advisory board, 1MDB is the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland, and the United States.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing and said will cooperate with the international investigations.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Anshuman Daga, Robert Birsel)

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First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 17:25 IST