The former head of Rothschild Bank in Luxembourg, Marc Ambroisien, was charged on 24 January by the Luxembourg judiciary in the 1MDB financial scandal. His indictment follows three days of hearings before an investigating judge.
The investigation, which began in 2016, was due to be completed in autumn 2019, but has taken six years to be completed due to a long overdue judicial police report. As in the Madoff affair, the case of the 1MDB scandal has been marked by a slow judicial process.
At the end of March 2016, the Public Prosecutor's Office opened a judicial investigation against ‘x’ following revelations of possible misappropriations to the detriment of the Malaysian sovereign fund ‘1Malaysia Development Berhad’ (1MDB). The embezzled sum, having transited through Luxembourg between 2012 and 2013 via an account linked to an offshore company, opened with the private bank Edmond de Rothschild Europe, which led to the Luxembourg judiciary taking over the case.
A year later, in June, the CSSF imposed a fine of €8.9m on the bank Edmond de Rothschild.
The name Marc Ambroisien, head of the private bank between 2012 and 2015, had allegedly appeared in suspicious transactions. Since then, he has been investigated for "laundering funds likely to emanate from the misappropriation of public funds". In response, he had declared himself "a scapegoat", rejecting all the accusations made against him.
For its part, the Commission de surveillance du secteur financier (CSSF) did not wait for the end of the investigation to take an administrative measure against Marc Ambroisien, which it did in March 2020. As a result, the former head of the private bank Edmond de Rothschild Europe was banned from exercising any responsibility in the financial sector for 10 years. The CSSF found that he no longer fulfilled the requirements of good repute and that he had "failed to put in place a sound internal governance system and prudent risk management". The CSSF also concluded that he had failed to ensure that Edmond de Rothschild Europe "complies with its professional obligations in relation to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing".