Four months in a harsh Hungarian prison was enough punishment for the former CEO of an offshore bank who was caught in a federal string operation.
Adrian Baron, 63, the former CEO of Loyal Bank — which was based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and had an office in Hungary — was the first person convicted under the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act when he pleaded guilty in September.
Baron was one of several defendants caught in a government sting operation. In June 2017, he met with an undercover agent posing as a stock promoter from the U.S “involved in stock manipulation schemes” at his bank’s office in Budapest.
He agreed to open several accounts for the agent, and mask the fact that the accounts belonged to a U.S. citizen.
Baron, who’s in poor health, spent March to July locked up in a high-security Hungarian prison.
“He was locked in his cell 23 hours a day, food was delivered to his cell late, cold or simply missed due to kitchen (conditions),” his friend, Dora Kovacs, a Budapest-based defense lawyer, wrote the judge. “There was no hot water in his cell, not even showers, and he suffered bites from bugs during his stay.”
Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto described Baron as “remorseful.”
“Given his age, his health conditions, based on his status as a first-time nonviolent offender and the four months he spent under harsh prison conditions in Hungary,” a sentence of time served in Hungary “is appropriate” even though it involved less prison time than government guidelines normally require, the judge said.