money laundering

  • 13 Jan 2015 at 1:47 PM
  • Banks

HSBC Won’t Be Laundering Money By 2018

If everything's not cleaned up in time, Stuart Levey will get this haircut.Money-laundering operations of the size and scale previously boasted by HSBC are not dismantled in a day. Or 730 days. But within 1,826 days? They definitely won’t be the banker of choice for drug cartels or rogue states anymore. So just cool your heels, Michael Cherkasky. Read more »

  • 24 Jul 2014 at 11:49 AM
  • Banks

France Stakes Claim Its Share Of UBS’s Legal Reserve

Last seen whining (albeit not entirely without justification) about how unfairly the U.S. was treating its banks, France has decided it might not mind piling on a foreign bank itself. Read more »

He just had to get a little creative is all. A lot of people say that trading is their passion but when push comes to shove they’d give it up in a second if A) they lost their Bloomberg terminal and B) a judge ordered them to do so. Neither of these things were going to hold James Michael Murray down. Read more »

  • 02 Apr 2014 at 5:00 PM
  • Banks

El Chapo Guzman May Still Be Banking With HSBC

Remember that time HSBC was found to be running a lucrative money-laundering business on the side, cheerfully doing business with Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, the Iranians, Burmese and the Cubans? And how it agreed to stop and be a good boy and oh yea pay about $2 billion if federal prosecutors agreed not to file criminal charges against it?

Well, coming up with $1.9 billion was the easy part. Making sure you’re not doing the thing that forced you to write that check in the first place? This is a stickier matter. Read more »

U.S. federal agents who seized more than $4 million in U.S. banknotes shipped from Alfredo Piano’s Buenos Aires bank uncovered what they claimed was a cache of dirty money…Piano’s banknotes became the subject of recent scrutiny in federal court in Washington, where the bills were named defendants in a lawsuit called U.S. v. $4,245,800 in Mutilated United States Currency. In it, the U.S. alleged that the tattered cash that Piano’s Banco Piano SA had tried to exchange at face value was likely the proceeds of criminal activity. Piano argued that his bank’s role is to help Argentines get new greenbacks when their old ones get burned, ripped or, in some cases, sent through the washing machine. Hashing out whether the bills fell under the government’s figurative, criminal definitions of dirty and laundered, or merely Piano’s literal ones, took an 18-month legal proceeding and insights from Argentine money-hoarders, the Secret Service and an arm of the U.S. government called the Mutilated Currency Division…Mounting the defense of his clients’ money, Piano argued that Argentines are world-class stashers of cash dollars, and that misfortune will naturally befall some of the paper money that people hoard in mattresses, walls and holes in the ground…On November 25, a year and a half after the bills were seized, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved a settlement reached between the two sides. It called for returning about $4 million to the bank. [Bloomberg]

  • 20 Nov 2013 at 4:26 PM
  • Banks

Did You Know That Money Laundering Is Illegal In Russia?

Even if you have a Putin on your board? Well, Master Bank didn’t—it, like most Russian banks, probably considered money laundering a key business line and the lifeblood of the Russian economy—and now it is no more. Read more »

A while back Oppenheimer & Co. let some people trade illegally in some penny stocks and today they got in mild trouble for it, settling with FINRA over charges of selling unregistered securities, inadequate supervision, and inadequate anti-money-laundering compliance programs. Oppenheimer agreed to pay a $1.4mm fine and hire a bunch of stop-doing-that consultants to tell them to stop doing that.

The FINRA complaint is mildly amusing; its list of “red flags indicating that there may have been sales of unregistered securities1 that should have prompted further inquiry” includes “the customer had walked into a branch office with share certificates of thinly-traded securities for deposit.” Not in 1920, I mean, in 2008: a customer “carried into the Newport Beach office and delivered into his new account share certificates for 255,000,000 and 500,000,000 shares of NBVG.” I just love that image for its old-fashioned solidity; I’ve entrusted my entire life savings to some bits floating around the internet but this guy was hauling around paper stock certificates. Worth, apparently, hundreds of millions of pennies!2 Read more »

Yesterday SAC was indicted for insider trading, more or less, so today people are fighting on the internet about whether insider trading should really be illegal. You know what I think, more or less, but really I just think that’s sort of an unhelpful way to put it. Here is a rough stylized chart of the benefits of informed trading:

That is: Read more »