Money laundering is a serious crime… It’s even more serious when that money is being laundered for the benefit of Mexican drug cartels and terrorists. And even worse when this is the second time you were caught doing it.
Yet, if you were lucky enough to draw Loretta Lynch as the US Attorney handling the case, don’t be surprised if you get off scot-free. HSBC laundered at least hundreds of millions of dollars by creating fake accounts and then shuffling the money through these fake accounts until the money is essentially lost.
Cartels and terrorists love it because not only do they get the money laundered but in most cases no income tax is paid on it. The case which took place in 2012 was no HSBC’s first rodeo. They had been caught a few years earlier doing the exact same thing. The first offense you might see no one being prosecuted but the second time… Not so much.
At the time of her confirmation hearing for the AG job, Sen Vitters of Louisiana wanted some answers about Lynch and the HSBC scandal:
1) When did the U.S. Department of Justice receive the leaked information from French authorities detailing HSBC’s scheme to shield its clients from their tax liabilities?
2) When did you personally become aware of the HSBC leaked information detailing the tax evasion scheme?
If the media reports are correct, the U.S. Department of Justice received this information as early as 2010, yet in 2012 you negotiated a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with HSBC to avoid criminal prosecution only for the crimes of money laundering and facilitating transactions with countries sanctioned by the U.S. It has been reported that you had full prior knowledge of HSBC’s alleged earlier fraud and tax evasion violations.
3) Why did you choose not to immediately prosecute?
4) Given that HSBC admitted in the DPA to money laundering and conducting business with five countries sanctioned by the US, and given the strong evidence it also committed tax evasion, fraud and possibly other crimes, do you believe that HSBC’s “penalty” truly fits the severity of its conduct against the U.S.?
5) As has been noted, the HSBC DPA that your office negotiated while you were U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York does not preclude future prosecutions for HSBC’s other criminal violations for tax evasion, fraud or for failure to meet its duties and responsibilities under the DPA, but why, nearly 5 years after the Department of Justice became aware of the tax evasion scheme, have no criminal charges been brought?
The details of HSBC Money Laundering Deferred Prosecution Agreement has hardly been made public.
6) Exactly how much did HSBC profit from the transactions, loans, accounts, etc… associated with the money-laundering accusations included in the DPA?
7) Who in your office or at the Department of Justice determined the penalty paid by HSBC and how did they come to that amount?
8) What process was used to ensure that the penalty matches the crime?
9) If the alleged identity theft took place, during the course of HSBC’s participation in a money laundering scheme, have all affected persons been notified?
Tomorrow read about the other familiar names connected with this corruption.