Swiss authorities charge former analyst in Geneva with data theft

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has brought charges of data theft against a former employee of global banking group HSBC who is suspected of carrying out a huge security breach at its private banking offices in Geneva.

The case involves fugitive IT specialist Herve Falciani, who the bank accuses of stealing information between 2006 and 2007 relating to 24,000 customers of the Swiss division of HSBC.

In a statement Thursday the Swiss attorney general's office says the French-Italian national has been charged with transmitting stolen bank information to Lebanese banks, the Paris-based National Directorate of Tax Investigations and other foreign authorities.

Falciani fled Switzerland after the Swiss opened criminal proceedings in 2008. He was arrested in Spain in 2012, but a court ruled against extraditing him.