Money-Laundering Inquiry Is Said to Aim at U.S. Banks

. . .

..

You can pause intro music down below.

Money-Laundering Inquiry Is Said to Aim at U.S. Banks

.

Piggybankblog posted on 09/15/12

Cross linked with nytimes.com

Federal and state authorities are investigating a handful of major American banks for failing to monitor cash transactions in and out of their branches, a lapse that may have enabled drug dealers and terrorists to launder tainted money, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

These officials say they are beginning one of the most aggressive crackdowns on money-laundering in decades, intended to send a signal to the nation’s biggest banks that weak compliance is unacceptable.

Regulators, led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are close to taking action against JPMorgan Chase for insufficient safeguards, the officials said. The agency is also scrutinizing several other Wall Street giants, including Bank of America. 

The comptroller’s office could issue a cease-and-desist order to JPMorgan in coming months, an action that would force the bank to plug any gaps in oversight, according to several people knowledgeable about the matter. But the agency, which oversees the nation’s biggest banks, has not yet completed its case. JPMorgan is in the spotlight partly because federal authorities accused the bank last year of transferring money in violation of United States sanctions against Cuba and Iran.

In addition to the comptroller, prosecutors from the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating several financial institutions in the United States, according to law enforcement officials.

The surge in investigations, compliance experts say, is coming now because authorities were previously inundated with problems stemming from the 2008 financial turmoil. “These issues may have been put on hold during the financial crisis, and now regulators can go back to focus on money-laundering and other compliance problems,” said Alma M. Angotti, a director at Navigant, a consulting firm that advises banks on complying with anti-money-laundering rules.

Until now, investigators have primarily focused on financial transactions at European banks, most recently Standard Chartered. The authorities accused several foreign banks of flouting American law by transferring billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations.

As the investigation shifts to American shores, the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are moving beyond those violations to focus on money-laundering, in which criminals around the globe try to hide illicit funds in United States bank accounts. If these new cases follow the pattern of previous ones, prosecutors could follow up on regulatory actions with their own complaints.

Despite shortcomings, banks spend millions of dollars a year to guard against money-laundering. Compliance experts argue that violations are typically unintentional and often harmless because they aren’t always exploited by criminals.

Still, prosecutors and regulators have spotted gulfs in the way financial institutions oversee suspicious cash transfers, according to the federal and state officials. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions like banks and check-cashers must report any cash transaction of more than $10,000 and bring any dubious activity to the attention of regulators. The federal law also requires banks to have complex controls in place to detect any criminal activity.

The comptroller’s office, JPMorgan and Bank of America declined to comment.

The investigations are gaining momentum as concern is growing in Washington that illicit money is coursing through the American financial system.

Back in July the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused HSBC of exposing “the U.S. financial system to money-laundering and terrorist financing risks” between 2001 and 2010. The British bank, which is also under investigation by federal and state prosecutors, is suspected of funneling cash for Saudi Arabian banks with ties to terrorists, according to federal authorities with direct knowledge of the investigations. HSBC officials have pointed out that they had strengthened controls to prevent money-laundering and replaced employees tainted by the allegations. Standard Chartered maintains that “99.9 percent” of the transactions under scrutiny complied with that rule and involved legitimate Iranian banks and corporations.

 

My name is John Wright AND I AM FIGHTING BACK!

All Rise! The Honorable Judge Wright has left The Courtroom of Public Opinion!

.

Follow John’s Daily Blog

Register to be part of my blog

.

Your donation makes a difference in my life.

….

.

.

 

.
PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE

.

.

 

 

Tags:

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, function 'w4sl_insert_visitor' not found or invalid function name in /home/piggybank/www/www/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 470