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MFSA Chief Resigns Weeks After Fenech-Funded Las Vegas Trip Revelation

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Malta Financial Services Authority CEO Joseph Cuschieri has resigned. This comes just under a month after it emerged that he had flown to Las Vegas with businessman – and Caruana Galizia assassination mastermind suspect – Yorgen Fenech back in 2018.

Newly-appointed Finance Minister Clyde Caruana accepted Cuschieri’s resignation, thanking him “for the work he has done in this institution with regard to strengthening the regulatory aspect, modernizing the structures of the authority, and carrying out reforms in the MFSA in recent years.”

Cuschieri, along with MFSA lawyer Edwina Licari, were suspended from the MFSA just under a month ago.

Both had been on the Fenech-funded trip in May 2018. Keith Schembri’s former assistant, Charlene Bianco Farrugia, was also on the trip.

Cuschieri had only just resigned as CEO at the Malta Gaming Authority a month prior to moving onto the MFSA. Licari, who was an MGA official at the time, joined Cuschieri at the MFSA months later.

Cuschieri has previously insisted there was no conflict of interest, with sources suggesting such trips were commonplace with gaming operators. At the time, the MGA was both the promotional and regulatory arm for the industry.

The trip also came before Fenech was outed as the owner of 17 Black or linked to the assassination.

Earlier this month, the MFSA said it had set up an independent panel made up of former Chief Justice Joe Azzopardi and independent lawyer Dr Mark Simiana to look into the recent revelations.

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