Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) logo signage on the building at entrance (Photo by mimisim from Shutterstock.com)

MAS issues Prohibition Orders against former representative of UBS AG for dishonest conduct

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued 3-year prohibition orders (POs) against a former representative of UBS AG, Singapore branch (UBS) for forging documents and falsified company emails during his employment with UBS.

The authority stated that under the POs, Mr Paris 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).

MAS also noted that 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 FAA.

According to the authority, Mr Michele’s responsibilities in UBS included conducting due diligence on UBS’ 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.

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 (Cap. 224) and fined $13,200 on 14 June 2017.

Under Section 465 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, Rev Ed 1985), whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 4 years, or with fine, or with both.

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

Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said, “Financial services professionals play a pivotal role in maintaining Singapore’s status as a responsible and trusted financial centre.

“Mr Michele’s deceitful behaviour, which involved forging of customer due diligence documents, could have seriously compromised UBS’ 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,” she added.