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Switzerland Investigates Santander

Wealth Bulletin – Geneva’s public prosecutor said he has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that Banco Santander SA’s hedge-fund unit misled investors when it funneled their money into Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

The formal investigation was opened following a complaint by Geneva Partners, an independent investment fund that bought financial products from Santander’s Geneva-based hedge-fund unit, Optimal Investment Services SA.

Dario Zanni, Geneva’s public prosecutor, said the inquiry would look at whether Optimal’s former chief executive, Manuel Echeverria, did the fact-finding claimed in the firm’s documents. "We have some suspicion about his [work]," Mr. Zanni said. "We are not sure he was doing his job compliant with his duties."

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