(Reuters) – Herve Falciani, an ex-employee of HSBC's Geneva private bank who leaked information on clients & their tax situation, has been sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated industrial espionage, the bank said on Friday.
HSBC said it welcomed the ruling on Falciani, a 43-year old French citizen who had been on trial in Switzerland.
HSBC's Swiss unit has been in the spotlight since 2008, when Falciani, a former IT employee there, fled Geneva with files that were leaked to the media & were alleged to show evidence of tax evasion by clients. French newspaper Le Monde has said it identified more than 106,000 clients.
p> Falciani, who is based in France, did not attend his trial & stayed out of Switzerland while it was going on.
He may not serve any time in a Swiss prison since France typically does not extradite its own citizens, & there are no legal proceedings against him in France.
Falciani's lawyer — Marc Henzelin — did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Susan Thomas)
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