Yes. Funding terrorism. Funding nations that are on the restricted list.
Nine banks have been caught up in the probe, and some are in discussions to settle, according to a person familiar with the case. Three have already. Last month, Barclays PLC in London agreed to pay $298 million and admitted to allowing payments on behalf of clients in Cuba, Sudan and other countries. Lloyds Banking Group in London and Credit Suisse Group in Zurich—banks that operated extensive transfer systems for Iranian clients—have agreed to settlements totaling $350 million and $536 million, respectively.
Let me guess – this was some rogue banker in some satellite office, and there was no systemic knowledge or involvement by the banks involved, right?
These weren’t rogue operations. The investigators discovered that the banks ran dedicated units to systematically aid the undetected transfer of money through the U.S. banking system. They did that by removing identifying coding on fund transfers so they could evade automated U.S. bank computer systems designed to spot money flowing from a sanctioned state.
These are serious criminal acts folks. This money gets people killed. Literally. It buys guns, it buys missiles, it buys bombs. Bombs, guns and missiles that are then used to shoot at our troops and those of our friends.
Credit Suisse, according to court records, removed Iranian names, addresses, telephone numbers and identification codes from payment messages sent to U.S. financial firms. In some cases, the bank then replaced the information by using names such as “Order of a Customer” or “Credit Suisse.”
Why do these institutions still have US banking charters?
Why do their executives not stand on indictments?
Why do we, the people of this country, permit this?
This isn’t the first time crimes like this have been talked about in the media or the Ticker over the last few years. Indeed, we’ve had banks laundering money for Mexican Drug Cartels, we had banks that were involved in elaborate scams to rip off taxpayers in Jefferson County Alabama, and we have had other unsavory acts by these institutions.
If I pull something like this I don’t get fined, I go to prison. I get a felony record to go with it. I don’t get a fine that amounts to a tiny fraction of one percent of my market cap.
Hell, if I could traffic in money to pay for missiles in Iran and if caught I’d be fined, say, $200 – a tiny little fraction of a percent of my net worth – sure, I’d do it. I could make hundreds of thousands or even millions doing this for years, and eventually, well, I’d have to pay some “tax” for my sins in the form of a fine to the widdle liddle gubbermint.
This sort of crap makes a mockery of our justice system and our laws. We have sat back as citizens and watched these institutions not only do things like this, but rip off the taxpayer with dodgy municipal finance deals that ultimately land the other people involved in the hoosegow, while they, when they get caught, simply pay a tiny little fine (in comparison to the value of the firm) and nobody that works for the bank goes to prison.
You want to know why these things keep happening?
It’s because we the people refuse to insist – and back it up with strong political action – that the banks involved in these sorts of scams be charged and that every single employee and officer involved in either doing it or covering it up goes straight to jail, while we revoke the US charter of any foreign institution involved in this sort of crap.
When will you wake up America?