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MAS issues prohibition orders against ex-UBS banker over forged documents

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders against a former UBS banker over forged documents and fake emails.

In a statement on Monday, the regulator said it has issued three-year prohibition orders (POs) against Paris Michele - a former representative of UBS in Singapore - for dishonest conduct, having forged documents and falsified company emails during his employment with UBS.

Mr Michele’s responsibilities in UBS included conducting due diligence on UBS’s customers.

In 2013, he forged letters from foreign law firms to deceive UBS into believing that certain UBS clients were tax compliant in their home countries, MAS said.

Mr Michele did not profit from the misconduct, and UBS did not suffer monetary losses as a result of Mr Michele’s forgery. For this misconduct, Mr Michele was convicted of forgery charges under section 465 of the Penal Code and fined S$13,200 on June 14, 2017.

Mr Michele was also tasked to conduct background checks on persons dealing with UBS on behalf of other financial intermediaries. MAS’s investigation found that Mr Michele had falsified emails on such background checks.

Under the POs, Mr Michele is prohibited from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA). He is also prohibited from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market and financial advisory services firm under the SFA and the FAA.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director (policy, payments & financial crime) at MAS, said Mr Michele's "deceitful behaviour" could have seriously compromised UBS's processes to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

"His subsequent acts of falsifying other documents demonstrate a clear pattern of dishonesty. Such misconduct must be dealt with firmly to preserve the integrity of our markets."