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Ex-HSBC worker: U.S. told him to head for Spain

Man accused of stealing Swiss bank account data

MADRID  — A Spanish newspaper reports that a man wanted by Switzerland on suspicion of stealing confidential banking information is saying U.S. officials warned that he was in danger and advised him to go to Spain.

Herve Falciani, a former employee of global banking group HSBC, was arrested in July in Barcelona. He was freed with conditions, and is now fighting extradition to Switzerland.

In 2008, Falciani fled Switzerland to France. There, he said he collaborated with investigations into money laundering and tax evasion, handing over information linked to at least 24,000 HSBC customers.

In an interview published today in El Pais newspaper, Falicani said he was cooperating with U.S. Justice Department officials when he was advised to head for Spain.

U.S. officials did not immediately offer comment on the claims.

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