Hastily resigning from your collapsing hedge fund, stuffing your underwear with cash and handing out whatever didn’t fit to trusted friends and associates, boarding a private jet, and disappearing to Colombia and the world’s fleabaggiest hotels for five years just don’t seem like the actions of an innocent man to U.S. authorities, especially when combined with all of the evidence of a portfolio-pumping penny-stock cross-trading scheme. This nagging suspicion that International Man of Mystery Florian Homm may have been up to no good were not assuaged by a memoir entitled Rogue Financier, nor by Homm’s quick return to the unextraditing embrace of his native Germany at the first opportunity after American authorities caught up with him on the steps of the Uffizi.

As it happens, the Swiss authorities think something’s fishy with all of the above, as well. And they also think some of Homm’s global web of alleged fraud links to their country. And unlike the Americans, the Swiss are not constrained by constitutional niceties vis-à-vis trials in absentia. So they don’t just think that something untoward was afoot in all of the above: Legally speaking, they know.

German financier Florian Homm was convicted by a Swiss court on Friday of breach of trust and multiple forgery of documents in a fraud case that had led to millions of dollars in losses for investors.

The 61-year-old former hedge fund manager was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 36 months in jail, of which half was suspended, the court said…. In announcing the verdict, Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court said on Friday the fact that the offences occurred long ago and the proceedings took a long time “resulted in a considerable reduction of the sentence”.

That includes the immediate suspension of the 120,000 franc fine levied, which is great, because after all the 61-year-old only has between $4 million and $8 million left to sustain him for the rest of his life. And so, given the demonstrated reasonableness of the Swiss in this whole unpleasant matter, we’re sure Homm will submit himself to those 18 months in what we presume is a rather plush, lake- or mountain-side Swiss prison resort, just as soon as this whole nasty coronavirus thing which kept him from attending his trial—a thing he totally wanted to do; Bellinzona sounds like a truly beautiful place—blows over, regardless of that extradition treaty between Switzerland and the U.S.

Swiss court convicts German financier Homm in long-running fraud case [Reuters]

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