Safra National Bank of New York, a lender controlled
by banking tycoon Joseph Safra, denied on Tuesday that a
Brazilian politician accused of embezzling public money ever had
or controlled accounts at the institution. A Brazilian
prosecutor told Reuters on Monday that Deutsche Bank AG
agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges in Brazil
that Europe's largest investment bank by revenue helped manage
funds embezzled by former city of São Paulo officials in the
1990s. According to São Paulo state prosecutor Silvio Marques,
more than $340 million from a scheme allegedly run by former
mayor Paulo Maluf and other officials moved freely within
accounts in Deutsche Bank, Safra National Bank, UBS AG
and Citigroup Inc.
The Deutsche bank settlement may add pressure on UBS, Safra
National and Citigroup to pay as much as $70 million in
compensation to settle allegations they also took on deposits
and wired money from the scheme, Marques added.
"Paulo Maluf has never had an account at Safra National
Bank of New York," the lender said in a statement to Reuters.
Safra National did not say whether it was notified by
prosecutors, nor immediately confirm whether Maluf's associates
owned accounts at any of its branches.
Courts in Brazil and the island of Jersey have found Maluf,
currently a lower house lawmaker, guilty of several charges,
while other lawsuits related to corruption allegations while he
was mayor of São Paulo between 1993 and 1996 are still under
analysis. Maluf has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Efforts to
reach Maluf's lawyers for comment were unsuccessful.