Credit Suisse Group AG was a multinational investment bank and financial services company based in Switzerland. Credit Suisse’s shares were registered with the SEC and traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Credit Suisse International, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited, and Credit Suisse AG, London Branch, collectively the "U.K. Subsidiaries," were all direct or indirect subsidiaries of Credit Suisse in the U.K.
According to the documents in this case, from 2013 to 2016, Credit Suisse, through its U.K. Subsidiaries, underwrote, structured, marketed, and distributed a syndicated loan and two securities offerings by Mozambican state-owned entities, ProIndicus S.A. and Empresa Mocambicana de Atum S.A. (“EMATUM”). These transactions raised over $1 billion and were used to perpetrate a hidden debt scheme, pay kickbacks to three former Credit Suisse investment bankers along with their intermediaries, and bribe corrupt Mozambique government officials. The offering materials created and distributed to investors by Credit Suisse hid the underlying corruption and falsely disclosed that the proceeds would help develop Mozambique's tuna fishing industry. The investment bankers knew that ProIndicus and EMATUM were newly formed state-owned entities with no prior business operations, which allowed them to be used as vehicles through which the bankers and intermediaries received approximately $50 million in kickbacks and corrupt Mozambique government officials obtained bribes of approximately $150 million, which were paid by the intermediaries.
In a settled administrative proceeding announced on October 19, 2021, the SEC ordered Credit Suisse to cease and desist violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA as well as other securities fraud violations. Under the terms of the settlement, Credit Suisse agreed to pay disgorgement of $26,229,233 plus prejudgment interest of $7,822,639 and a civil fine of $65 million.
In two related proceedings initiated on October 19, 2021, the DOJ filed informations in the Eastern District of New York against Credit Suisse and CSSEL alleging conspiracies to commit wire fraud. On the same date, Credit Suisse entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with a term of three years with the DOJ, and CSSEL pled guilty. Under the terms of the agreement, Credit Suisse agreed to pay a fine of $247,520,000, which included $500,000 levied against CSSEL in the parallel proceeding, plus forfeiture of $10,344,865. The DOJ agreed to credit $47,200,000 of the fine and the total forfeiture amount against the amount Credit Suisse paid to the SEC in the agency's parallel proceeding and $24,752,000 against the amount the company paid to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority in its parallel proceeding. The fine represented a 15% departure below the bottom of the U.S. Sentencing Guideline range. Credit Suisse also agreed to report on the status the company's anticorruption compliance for a term of three years.