The FinCEN Files Scandal: The Untold Stoy of the HSBC

September 24, 2020

The untold story of HSBC as revealed by the BuzzFeed News and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is shocking, revealing, extremely serious, and alarming.

Key Findings by the ICIJ

HSBC moved dirty money while on probation for previous laundering lapses.

The bank moved millions of dollars for a Ponzi scheme it knew was under investigation in multiple countries.

While on probation, HSBC moved more than $900 million for shell company customers linked to alleged criminal networks.

HSBC was profiting from an international criminal scheme even while on probation for having served murderous drug cartels and other criminals. HSBC had admitted to U.S. prosecutors in 2012 that it had helped dirty money flow through its branches around the world, including at least $881 million controlled by the notorious Sinaloa cartel and other Mexican drug gangs.

In a controversial decision, prosecutors declined to seek an indictment of the bank but instead allowed it to pay a $1.92 billion settlement and serve five years of probation during which its efforts to prevent money laundering would be monitored by a court-appointed watchdog. The court named a former top New York state financial crimes prosecutor, Michael Cherkasky.

A 16-month investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, BuzzFeed News and 108 other media partners has found that HSBC continued to provide banking services to alleged criminals, Ponzi schemers, shell companies tied to looted government funds and financial go-betweens for drug traffickers. This occurred even while the bank was on probation and under Cherkasky’s scrutiny.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

The news report of BuzzFeed News warrants a U.S. Congressional comprehensive investigation in what is stated in this report. If the information contained in the FinCen Files is true, there is a reasonable basis to cast substantial doubts on the effectiveness of the U.S. regulator(s) in deterring and preventing money laundering at HSBC.

Sources:

HSBC moved vast sums of dirty money after paying record laundering fine, Spencer Woodman, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, September 21, 2020, Reached on September 24, 2020, https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/hsbc-moved-vast-sums-of-dirty-money-after-paying-record-laundering-fine/?utm_source=ICIJ&utm_campaign=5502595847-0923_WeeklyEmail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_992ecfdbb2-5502595847-82603441

HSBC’s Secret Files: The Inside Tale Of What Happened After It Apologized For Being Dirty, BuzzFeed News, September 21, 2020, Reached on September 24, 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/anthonycormier/hsbc-money-laundering-drug-cartel

Originally published at https://blog.theaaci.com on September 24, 2020.

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CACM, CFE, MBA. Senior Director in the Middle East and Africa of The American Anti-Corruption Institute (AACI).

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Mike Masoud, CACM, CFE, MBA

Mike Masoud, CACM, CFE, MBA

CACM, CFE, MBA. Senior Director in the Middle East and Africa of The American Anti-Corruption Institute (AACI).

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