A former "banker of the year" in Switzerland used his company credit card to pay for a Tinder date, a trip to Australia, and $214,000 in bills from strip clubs, according to testimony heard in a Zurich court before Pierin Vincenz was sentenced Wednesday to nearly four years in jail. The 65-year-old former CEO of Raiffeisen Bank was convicted of fraud, embezzlement, and forgery of documents, per the Telegraph. He tried to justify the $214,000 in strip club bills as business-related, claimed a $750 dinner with a Tinder date was a legitimate expense as he was considering the woman for a real estate job, and said he had to be in Australia to examine its cash machines, per the Telegraph and Reuters.
Another outrageous expense was a nearly $4,300 repair to a room at a five-star hotel where Vincenz reportedly fought with his stripper girlfriend, the Telegraph reports. "[His] understanding, whereby practically all expenditures of a business person fall under disposable company expenses so long as any remote connection to the business activity exists, clearly went too far," said Judge Sebastian Aeppli, per Reuters. Vincenz, sentenced to three years and nine months in jail, was also fined the equivalent of $900,600 and ordered to pay roughly $1.7 million in compensation to firms. His lawyer says he'll appeal.
Prosecutors had sought $75 million in assets from seven defendants in "one of Switzerland's highest-profile corporate crimes trials ever to take place," per the Telegraph. It has made Raiffeisen synonymous with "sleaze and a very cavalier approach to money," per the BBC. Vincenz and the other main defendant, bank consultant Beat Stocker, were accused of skimming almost $27 million in unlawful gains over Vincenz's 15-year tenure as CEO, largely in funds misappropriated during acquisitions, per Bloomberg. Stocker, who was convicted of fraud, forgery of documents, and other crimes, was handed a four-year prison sentence. He's also expected to appeal. (Read more Switzerland stories.)