Dear Commons Community,
The news media are aglow with the report that federal and state authorities secured a record $1.92 billion payment from HSBC on Tuesday to settle charges that the banking giant transferred billions of dollars for nations under United States sanctions, enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder tainted money through the American financial system, and worked closely with Saudi Arabian banks linked to terrorist organizations.
The case represents the conclusion of a multiagency investigation that spanned years. It convened the Justice Department, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, bank regulators and the Treasury Department.
In a filing in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said the bank had agreed to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement and to forfeit $1.25 billion. The four-count criminal information filed in the court charged HSBC with failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, to conduct due diligence on its foreign correspondent affiliates, and for violating sanctions and the Trading With the Enemy Act.
It seems to me that while the fines appear steeped, there should be criminal indictments against major officers of this company.