Former SECO executive receives 52-month prison sentence

The Federal Criminal Court upheld the complaints of forgery in titles and passive corruption against a former civil servant who had favored three companies in exchange for advantages valued at 1.2 million francs.



The president of the Federal Criminal Court described the accused as


© KEYSTONE/Karl Mathis
The president of the Federal Criminal Court described the accused as “the initiator and the engine of the network of corruption”.

The Federal Criminal Court handed down a 52-month prison sentence against a former employee of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office had required four years against this official accused of irregularities when purchasing computer equipment.

The Court of Criminal Affairs upheld the complaints of forgery in titles and passive corruption against this former head of service, now 68 years old. On the other hand, the unfair management of public interests and money laundering have been abandoned.

Although they considered that two of the charges were not realized, the judges of Bellinzona imposed a sentence higher than the requisitions of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the former employee is fined 130 days at 40 francs, with a two-year stay.

“Corruption network”

When reading the judgment on Friday, the president described the accused as “the initiator and engine of the network of corruption”. He emphasized the seriousness and duration of the tort activity.

For ten years, between 2004 and 2014, this official in charge of acquisitions for the unemployment insurance data center favored three companies. In exchange, he received, for himself and third parties, gifts and invitations, in particular to football matches.

The benefits obtained, which are estimated at 1.2 million francs in total, enabled the accused to improve his lifestyle and save for his retirement. For SECO, the material damage amounts to 960,000 francs, underlined the president. To this must be added the damage to the reputation of the federal administration because the department head abused his position and the control mechanisms did not work.

Stay of co-accused

The three business leaders who appeared alongside him during the trial which took place in early August received suspended sentences. The first is sentenced to 20 months and 40 day fines of 300 francs for active corruption, unfair management and forgery in titles. The second at 22 months and 20 day fines at 140 francs for active corruption.

Finally, the last accused is punished with a financial penalty of 360 day-fines to 150 francs for active corruption. The four men have 10 days to appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Federal Criminal Court. (cause SK.2020.10)

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