Category Archives: Money laundering

Is Australian Property a Haven for Money Laundering?

Regulators have recently come under fire for failing to adequately monitor foreign acquisitions of Australian real estate and ensure that they are in full compliance with domestic law. The property sector may already be host to far more nefarious forms of illicit activity, however, given Australia’s continued lax scrutiny of the use of real estate holdings for money-laundering purposes.

Intergovernmental anti-money laundering (AML) body the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has just released a scathing assessment of Australia’s law enforcement and regulatory arrangements for addressing the problem of illicit, cross-border cash flows.


Brazil’s Petrobras: We lost $2 billion to bribery

Brazil’s Petrobras has put a price tag on its massive corruption scandal, writing off $2 billion for bribery-related costs.

The state-owned oil giant announced an overall loss of $7.2 billion in 2014 on Wednesday, two months after its CEO and five other executives resigned over the affair.

Federal prosecutors have accused the former executives of illegally “diverting” billions from the company’s accounts for their personal use or to pay off officials.

More than 80 people have been charged with bribery and money laundering during the criminal investigation — dubbed “Operation Car Wash.”


Former president of Kansas bank charged with laundering money for Mexican cartels

A former bank president and two of his customers allegedly conspired to launder drug money in Kansas for Mexican cartels, while two former employees of the small southwest Kansas bank failed to report the suspicious financial transactions, according to charges unsealed Tuesday.

The 37-count indictment is part of a larger national investigation, which has resulted in 20 indictments against defendants in Indiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, Oklahoma, Colorado and Mexico, the U.S. attorney’s office in Wichita said in a news release.


Lone Star National Bank pays $1M federal penalty

McALLEN — Lone Star National Bank agreed last month to pay a $1 million penalty after federal auditors said they found deficiencies in how it combats depositors attempting to launder money.

The McAllen-based bank, with 30 branches across Texas, was issued a consent order April 4 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a subsidiary regulatory agency under the Treasury Department that oversees national banks.



6th suspect in Benchmark Capital fraud case sentenced to 30 years in federal prison

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The last of six people charged in a wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering scheme involving Benchmark Capital was sentenced Monday to 30 years in federal prison.

Joyce Allen, 67, must also may more than $20.7 million in restitution. Forfeiture of the same amount was ordered by the court.

Allen was found guilty after a September 2014 jury trial. The charges were contained in a superseding indictment against her and five others associated with Benchmark Capital filed in March 2014.


German bank to pay $1.45B to settle money laundering charges

Federal and state regulators are demanding the resignation of several employees at a German bank, along with a $1.45 billion penalty for helping countries avoid U.S. sanctions.

Regulators charged that Commerzbank “turned a blind eye” when it came to money laundering, helping countries like Iran, Sudan and Burma dodge economic sanctions, as well as aiding a Japanese company engaged in accounting fraud.


Ex-Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi reports to prison for 3-year term for corruption, laundering

PHOENIX — Former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi reported to a federal prison in West Virginia on Friday to begin serving a three-year sentence for corruption, money laundering and other convictions.

Renzi previously succeeded in postponing the start of his sentence. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that he must report to the minimum security Federal Correctional Institution by Friday.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross confirmed Renzi had arrived at the Morgantown, West Virginia, facility.

Meanwhile Friday, attorneys for Renzi filed paperwork asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appeals court ruling. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Renzi’s convictions last October after his lawyers argued that prosecutors had violated a constitutional clause that grants members of Congress protection for their legislative acts.


Many U.S. brokerages fail to report possible money laundering-SEC official

Feb 25 (Reuters) – A “disturbingly large” number of U.S. securities brokerages are not filing mandatory reports with regulators about customer transactions that could signal money laundering, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement head said on Wednesday.

Brokerage firms file an average of five reports each per year, a number that is “disconcerting” and “far too low” given the and industry’s volume of transactions, said Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, in prepared remarks.


U.S. Probes Capital One for Possible Money Laundering

Capital One Financial Corp. said the U.S. Justice and Treasury departments are looking into possible money-laundering violations at the company.

The bank said the Justice Department is also reviewing its subprime auto finance business.

The McLean, Va., company said the federal authorities had asked for the information in “early 2015,” according to a regulatory filing.

Last year, Capital One disclosed similar requests for information from the New York District Attorney’s Office, saying New York officials were reviewing “certain check casher clients of the Commercial Banking business.”


Swiss prosecutor raids HSBC office, opens criminal inquiry in money-laundering case

Geneva: Geneva’s public prosecutor searched HSBC’s lakeside Swiss office on Wednesday after opening a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering, the second probe to hit the bank this week.

Europe’s largest lender is in regulators’ sights after details about how its Swiss private bank allegedly helped wealthy clients dodge taxes were leaked to the media and published last week.

In an unusual move, the Geneva prosecutor’s office notified the media of the raid as it was going on. It searched two HSBC offices and said its investigation could target individuals, who would be liable to a fine and up to five years in prison if found guilty of serious money laundering offences.