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ZURICH, Feb 15 (Reuters) - BSI, the Swiss private bank owned by Brazil's embattled Grupo BTG Pactual SA, has hired a former Swiss prosecutor as its general counsel, a spokeswoman for the Lugano-based lender said in an emailed statement on Monday.
The statement, which confirmed Swiss media reports, gave no reason for the appointment of Emanuele Stauffer and did not say if he was replacing an existing employee or was filling a newly created post.
It said Stauffer, who had more recently worked as partner at the law firm PSMLaw, would take up the position in March.
BTG Pactual has put BSI up for sale as it looks to divest assets to raise cash and restore investor confidence after its billionaire founder was arrested in November in connection with a Brazilian corruption probe.
BSI has faced legal headaches in recent years.
In March, the bank agreed to pay a $211 million penalty after admitting it had for decades helped thousands of U.S. clients open accounts in Switzerland and hide assets from tax authorities.
It has also been dragged into Singapore's money laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Citing documents released at the Singapore High Court, Reuters last week reported that Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at BSI Singapore, had emerged as a key figure in the money laundering investigation. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by David Holmes)