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"Since 2009, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, working largely in concert, have brought charges against five foreign banks, contending they moved billions of dollars through their American subsidiaries on behalf of Iran, Cuba and North Korea, sponsors of terrorism and drug cartels. The cases against the five banks all included deferred prosecution agreements and required the banks — ABN Amro, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Lloyds and most recently ING — to forfeit a substantial amount of assets. The cases typically have not involved United States banks. Unlike foreign institutions, American banks were prohibited from originating or receiving such transactions from Iran. That enabled them to largely sidestep the conduct that has helped ensnare foreign banks." (New York Times, "Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny," 8/17/12)
"Credit Suisse AG agreed to pay $536 million in penalties to the United States and New York State on Dec. 16, 2009 to settle charges that it violated sanctions by helping Iran and other countries secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars through American banks. According to the government, from 1995 through 2006, Credit Suisse branches removed information, such as customer names and bank names, from American-bound wire transfers that would have signaled that the money originated in Iran. Before exiting Iran and other countries under sanctions in 2006, the bank received some small contracts from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Energy." The company received $2 million from the US government for their business in Iran during 2000-2009. They have withdrawn their business investments in Iran. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)
They referred to banks with code names like “Iron” and “Wood.” Sometimes they just used initials.
For nearly two decades, employees of Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank after UBS, helped their clients in Iran and other countries avoid sanctions by concealing their identities when they did business with the United States, federal and New York State authorities said at separate news conferences on Wednesday. Credit Suisse ended the practicing of helping its clients skirt sanctions in 2006 and agreed to pay federal and state authorities $536 million to settle the charges.
“Credit Suisse abused its standing as a leader in international banking by intentionally processing these illegal payments through U.S. banks,” Robert M. Morgenthau, theManhattan district attorney, told reporters in his office. (The New York Times, "Credit Suisse Settles Inquiry Over Iran Sanctions," 12/17/09)
"Credit Suisse is expected to pay a fine of $536 million to settle accusations by the United States government and New York State authorities that it violated sanctions by helping Iran and other countries secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars through American banks, people involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.
Investigators found that the bank, the second-largest in Switzerland, removed information from American-bound wire transfers that would have signaled that the money originated in Iranian banks, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case.
Two of the organizations that Credit Suisse facilitated transactions for, the official said, were the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Aerospace Industries Organization, both of which are designated as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. Both are barred from doing business with the United States.
In a statement released Tuesday, Credit Suisse confirmed that it would most likely pay $536 million in a settlement. The release did not provide details about the case, other than to say that it involved dollar payments from 2002 through April 2007 for 'parties that are subject to U.S. economic sanctions.'
Credit Suisse said it began an internal investigation into the situation in December 2005 and had since changed its practices, including termination of all business with organizations that have been subject to sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, closing an office in Tehran and appointing a global sanctions compliance officer...
The authorities identified more than 7,000 illicit transactions that Credit Suisse facilitated, worth about $700 million, a law enforcement official said. Investigators found an additional $1.1 billion in transactions that had been manipulated, but they have not deemed them as violating sanctions in this case, the official said.
Investigators found that Credit Suisse’s employees violated both state and federal laws by falsifying outgoing dollar payment messages that involved Iran. The bank’s employees removed reference to Iran or its banks, a practice called stripping.
Not only did Credit Suisse employees strip the wire transfers, but they also advised the Iranian banks on how to format their transfers to avoid detection, according to the official. As a result, investigators say, Iranian banks like Bank Saderat and Bank Melli were able to use Credit Suisse to send more than a billion dollars through New York banks.
The Atomic Energy Organization is said to have ties with Iran’s nuclear weapons program, while Aerospace Industries works with long-range missiles, the authorities said. Law enforcement officials said they thought the organizations had been buying materials for their programs. The sellers, most of whom were outside the United States, wanted dollars, and so the money passed through Manhattan banks, law enforcement officials said." (The New York Times, "Iranian Dealings Lead to a Fine for Credit Suisse," 12/16/09)
“Evidence of Iran's efforts to acquire sensitive materials also is emerging from investigations by state and federal prosecutors in New York into whether a number of major Western banks illegally handled funds for Iran and deliberately hid Iranian transactions routed through the U.S….Documents detailing Iran's metals acquisition efforts are being reviewed by U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence officials, people involved in the matter said. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said he is conducting a broad inquiry into illegal transactions by Iran. Last week, Lloyds TSB of London agreed to pay $350 million to settle U.S. sanctions-busting charges with Mr. Morgenthau's office and the Justice Department. The bank admitted it violated U.S. law but said the practice has ceased. There are nine other banks that we think were doing this, said Mr. Morgenthau in an interview, including Barclays PLC of the U.K. A Barclays spokesman had no comment beyond a prior disclosure confirming the inquiry. Other banks under scrutiny in the probe include Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, people with knowledge of the inquiries said." (The Wall Street Journal, "Fresh Clues of Iranian Nuclear Intrigue," 1/16/09)
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