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Former Citigroup manager on trial for stealing $5 million from clients

Inong Malinda Dee allegedly forged signatures, had clients sign blank transfer forms

A former senior executive at Citigroup Inc. Indonesia allegedly stole more than $5 million from her clients. Prosecutors claim Inong Malinda Dee forged signatures and had clients sign blank transfer forms.

Detained March 24 after Citigroup reported her to the national police, Dee has denied the charges. However, more than 30 witnesses are set to testify.

“The defendant has proceeded with transfers of money from customers’ savings without their consent at least 117 times,” prosecutor Tatang Sutarna said to South Jakarta’s district court.

Dee’s extravagant lifestyle spurred a media circus in Indonesia, as police seized four of her cars, including two Ferraris. Citibank’s international reputation also was tarnished, prompting Indonesia’s central bank to ban Citigroup from recruiting new wealth management clients and opening new branches for one year, as well as issuing new credits cards for two years. Still, Citibank is cooperating in the trial.

“Citibank identified the suspicious transactions and informed the local regulators and the police,” Citibank spokeswoman Mona Monika told Bloomberg. “We continue to offer our full cooperation and assistance to the authorities.”

One of Dee’s 15 lawyers, Batara Simbolon, said she faces five to 20 years in prison if convicted.

“This case hasn’t been completed,” Dee said in an interview earlier this week. “It still has a long way to go.”

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