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Credit Suisse to pay $77M to settle probe on Asia-Pacific hiring scheme

Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay a total of $77 million to settle allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery law, in its Asia-Pacific hiring practices.

The Swiss lender's Hong Kong-based subsidiary agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $47 million for its role in a scheme to win banking business by awarding employment to friends and family of Chinese officials, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The move generated profits of at least $46 million for the bank, said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan.

Credit Suisse will also pay the Securities and Exchange Commission about $30 million to settle related claims. The amount comprises $25.0 million in disgorgement of profits and $4.8 million in prejudgment interest. According to the commission, Credit Suisse hired more than 100 employees at the request of foreign government officials over a seven-year period.

Those hired under such quid pro quo arrangements were often less qualified than other employees at the same levels who did not have said political connections.