According to Bloomberg, Credit Suisse banker Patrice Lescaudron told the court that the fear of how his wealthy clients would react to mounting losses drove him to maintain an accounting charade for six years.
Lescaudron also hid his deception from bosses at Credit Suisse.
At one point, the banker was managing $1.6bn for clients from Russia and Georgia, including former Georgian prime minister and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
In one instance he hid losses from two Russian oil executives when he invested in an Austrian real estate company which lost half its value.
However, the deception unravelled when money from Ivanishvili, Lescaudron’s biggest client, was put into three hedge funds with heavy exposure to Raptor Pharmaceuticals. It collapsed in value creating a $100m (£72.6m, €81.8m) blackhole and Lescaudron was forced to come clean.
The court is set to determine Lescaudron’s role and the fate of $100m of assets including a luxury estate which are classed as proceeds of crime.