Swiss Government invokes Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in fraud investigation of Miami businessman

Feb 07, 2011   
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Recently, the Swiss government, pursuant to a seldom used Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, (“MLAT”) have requested that the United States Attorneys’ Office in Miami issue subpoenas in regard to a pending Swiss criminal investigation of a Miami businessman suspected of defrauding lenders in Switzerland of over $220 million. The Swiss government alleges that the Miami businessman and others created false financial statements showing that their company was in far better financial shape than was the reality. A U.S. federal judge last month entered an order empowering a federal prosecutor to issue subpoenas and utilize other entities within the federal government to assist with the Swiss investigation.

The U.S. is party to MLATs with a variety of nations for the purpose of promoting international cooperation in criminal investigations that cross international borders. These treaties streamline the process for investigators in one country to obtain orders for the production of relevant evidence in another country. MLATS have been used with great success in recent investigations originating in Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago, among other parties to such treaties.

Lawyers at Fuerst Ittleman are experienced in defending companies and individuals that are subject to criminal investigations involving MLATs and other international considerations. When one is served with subpoenas pursuant to an MLAT, it is imperative to obtain the advice of competent counsel to represent your interests.