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Swiss bank Julius Baer dismisses client advisor in FIFA inquiry

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(Bloomberg) — Julius Baer Group Ltd., Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, said it fired a client adviser after an internal probe into links to soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

“An employee has been dismissed in summer 2015 in connection with our internal investigation,” Jan Vonder Muehll, a spokesman for the Zurich-based company, said Tuesday in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. Julius Baer declined to identify the ex- employee.

Julius Baer said in June it opened an internal inquiry and was fully cooperating with authorities in relation to scrutiny of FIFA. While the bank was named as one of the firms involved in money transfers in an American indictment of 14 FIFA and regional soccer officials for bribery, racketeering and money laundering in May, Julius Baer is not known to be under investigation by U.S. or Swiss authorities over FIFA-related matters.

FIFA’s problems began with the arrest of seven soccer officials in Zurich in May, part of the U.S. Justice Department’s indictment. Two FIFA vice presidents were arrested in Zurich on Dec. 3 as U.S. and Swiss prosecutors widened their investigations into corruption in the sport and more specifically, allegations of bribery in the selection of Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Swiss Attorney General’s Office said in December it has received 133 suspicious activity reports from its anti-money laundering office that are related to the controversial awarding of the two World Cups.


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