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Swiss lender Zürcher Kantonalbank to pay $98.5M to end US tax probe

Zürcher Kantonalbank said Aug. 13 that it will pay $98.5 million under a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to conclude a probe into its legacy business with U.S. clients.

The Swiss bank expects that one current and one former employee, who were indicted in 2012 in connection with the case, "will soon also be able to conclude their legal cases." Reuters named the two bankers as Stephan Fellmann and Christof Reist. According to the Aug. 13 report, the two pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge, admitting that they "deliberately avoided learning" that their clients were using accounts they set up with the bank to evade taxes.

The duo had originally received a more serious felony charge in the 2012 indictment, which stated that more than 190 U.S. clients of the bank sought to hide their accounts at the bank from U.S. tax authorities to avoid paying taxes, Reuters noted. The felony charges against Fellmann and Reist were dismissed by the DOJ.

The bank said the payment to the U.S. authorities will not impact its 2018 financial results.