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Singapore jails, fines Swiss bank's ex-manager in 1MDB case

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5 days ago By ANNABELLE LIANG, Associated Press
Former branch manager at Falcon Bank, Jens Fred Sturzenegger, 42, of Switzerland, arrives at the State Court in Singapore, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Joseph Nair) © The Associated Press Former branch manager at Falcon Bank, Jens Fred Sturzenegger, 42, of Switzerland, arrives at the State Court in Singapore, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)

SINGAPORE — A Singapore court found a former manager at a Swiss private bank guilty of failing to report more than $1.26 billion in suspicious transactions in a case linked to the indebted Malaysian state fund 1 MDB.

The court on Wednesday sentenced Jens Sturzenegger, a Swiss national and former manager at Falcon Private Bank, to 28 weeks in jail and fined him 128,000 Singapore dollars ($89,143). He pleaded guilty to six charges including not disclosing information and lying to investigators.

"The accused had deliberately omitted to report the suspicious transactions, despite the obligation... to do so. I find you guilty and convicted of six charges," said the judge, Ow Yong Tuck Leong, in announcing the sentence.

In October, regulators ordered Falcon Private Bank to close down in Singapore and pay a fine of 4.3 million Singapore dollars ($2.99 million).

Sturzenegger was the first foreigner to be charged in Singapore following a multinational investigation into allegations that people close to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stole over $1 billion from the state fund, 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Bhd .

In February 2016, Singapore authorities said they had seized a large number of bank accounts as part of the investigation.

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