The ploy began seven years ago, when Baschiera was working as a local bank manager and noticed how low-income residents were struggling financially.
The bank was not issuing loans to them so, to address the situation, the 50-year-old banker began diverting money from wealthy clients’ accounts into those of residents who did not qualify for a loan.
“He created a kind of shadow financing system,” his lawyer, Roberto Mete, told the BBC. “He trusted that the people he was helping were going to be able to pay back — and some of them didn’t.”
In 2016 things came to a halt after employees discovered his deeds and alerted authorities, according to The Guardian.
He was charged with embezzlement and fraud and this week was sentenced to two years in prison. However, he was let off the hook as it was his first offense and he did not pocket any of the money.
“I just wanted to help people who couldn’t access loans . . . I would have returned all that money,” Baschiera said. “I have always thought that in addition to protecting savers our task was to help those in need.”
Mete added that he does not think his client will repeat the act.
“He was convinced he could help people. But now he’s lost his job and his own home,” he told the BBC.
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