Mahmoud’s Moneyman: Bank’s $250 Billion Plot to Help Iran Move Money

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The U.S. unit of a British bank “schemed” with Iran’s government to hide at least $250 billion in transactions that may have been used to finance terrorism and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, regulators charged on Monday.

Over almost a decade, Standard Chartered Bank in midtown Manhattan concealed about 60,000 transactions by Iranian clients from U.S. authorities in order to rake in millions of dollars in fees, New York’s Department of Financial Services said.

Bank executives, “motivated by greed,” were fully aware they were flouting the rules between 2001 and 2010, Benjamin Lawsky, the department’s superintendent said.

In 2006, an employee in the New York branch complained to superiors that the bank’s Iran dealings might make it criminally liable.

The U.S. unit of a British bank “schemed” with Iran’s government to hide at least $250 billion in transactions that may have been used to finance terrorism and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, regulators charged

“You f—— Americans,” was reportedly the response from a senior official in London. “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

The bank acted as a “rogue institution,” and its actions “left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes,” Lawsky said.

The New York regulator threatened to revoke Standard’s U.S. banking license and demanded it hire an independent monitor.

Standard Chartered said it rejected the agency’s view of the facts, saying that “well over 99.9% of the transactions relating to Iran complied” with U.S. sanctions and regulations. Less than $14 million did not, it said.

It also said no payments were made on behalf of groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations.

The U.S. government keeps close tabs on transactions with financial institutions in sanctioned countries and bans nearly all in Iran’s case.

Bank employees routinely stripped out legally required information identifying their Iranian clients to evade U.S. scrutiny and speed up the transactions, Lawsky said.

Management even put the practice in its operating manuals, referring to it as a “repair,” the watchdog said.

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2 thoughts on “Mahmoud’s Moneyman: Bank’s $250 Billion Plot to Help Iran Move Money

  • August 7, 2012 at 11:56 am
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    why cant an organized picket line be institued against this bank? maybe many Jews and americans are patronizing this bank without knowing what the bank is up to.
    they should be shut down and prosecuted using our existing laws. let their greed bring them down.
    are there more like them?

  • August 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm
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    The US Government should freeze that money immediately and if the bank does not agree (since they are in a different country) they should cut off business with t he bank immediately and not allow them to do business in the USA.

    Watch how quickly they will change their stance

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