Andrew Pearse, a 49-year-old ex-banker for Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG, testified in court in Brooklyn on Wednesday that he raked in at least $45 million in “kickback payments” from illegitimate loans issued to three companies in Mozambique in a scheme to defraud American investors, court documents show.
Pearse and the other fraudsters collected millions in kickbacks from shipbuilding company Privinvest Group to arrange the issuance of loans to three Mozambican companies, Bloomberg reported.
The New Zealander is the key witness in the case against Jean Boustani, whom prosecutors identified as the scheme's "mastermind." His testimony continued on Thursday.
Credit Suisse -- which was not charged in the investigation, according to Bloomberg -- declined comment.
Boustani, “lead salesman and negotiator for Privinvest,” according to court papers, allegedly worked with Mozambican government officials, business executives and bankers, such as Pearse, and stole approximately $200 million, according to the report.
On Wednesday, Pearse, who has already pleaded guilty in connection to the case, told the court of four other bankers who also made millions in Privinvest bribes connected to the alleged scheme, the report states.
“They all played a role in ensuring the bank made the loans,” he testified Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “They provided the bank with false information about Privinvest.”
Privinvest execs also allegedly bribed four Mozambican officials, including $50 million to a son of Armando Guebuza, who was president of Mozambique at the time.
“The son introduced the defendant to his father and to the ministers in the Mozambique government who were necessary for the project to proceed,” Pearse said, according to the report.
In one case, Guebuza’s son, Ndambi, demanded Boustani give him an extra $12.2 million so he could purchase a home that allegedly belonged to Privinvest CEO Iskandar Safa, the outlet reported.
“He was living in the South of France and asked to buy a house for himself and a prostitute he’d fallen in love with,” Pearse testified. “He wanted 11 million euros to buy a house with the prostitute.”