July 8, 2016 / 4:37 PM / 3 years ago

UBS France says former employee admits guilt in tax fraud probe

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen on a building in Zurich, Switzerland December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) said on Friday that a former employee at the bank’s French arm has pleaded guilty in an investigation into tax fraud and wrongfully soliciting for clients, but rejected allegations that the bank itself was complicit.

Last month, a financial prosecutor said UBS AG, UBS France and half a dozen former executives should face trial over allegations that they had helped clients to hide their money in Switzerland and for illegally soliciting for clients in France.

“A former employee, who left the bank in 2009, decided to plead guilty,” UBS said in a statement in French. “Neither the prosecutor’s recommendation nor the decision of the former employee changes the bank’s position in any way.”

A source close to the investigation said the prosecutor had sought a plea-bargaining deal with the former employee.

A second source said a judge has determined that the maximum fine the bank could face is 4.88 billion euros if the case goes to trial and the bank is found guilty.

French magistrates have a month from June 27 to decide whether or not the case should go to trial.

Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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