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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Follow the Money, and The Fingerprints of Greedy Lawyers

Ten of the world's top banks accused of laundering money for Iran
The New York Daily News by BARBARA ROSS AND WILLIAM SHERMAN  - January 10, 2009

Some of the world's top banks helped Iran get around international sanctions even as the rogue nation was steering its blood money into the hands of terror groups, prosecutors charged Friday. Ten international banks including British-based Lloyds laundered "billions of dollars" for Iran through New York banks, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced Friday. The scheme helped Iran turn its dirty money into greenbacks, which it could then use to buy goods prohibited by international sanctions. Some of the money went to fund terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and to help Iran get materials, including tungsten, for long-range missiles, sources said. "This is one of the biggest investigations we've ever conducted," said Morgenthau.

Lloyds admitted it laundered $300 million and agreed to pay a $350 million fine and open its books to investigators. If records show that the bank knew it was helping Iran break international law or foster terrorism, Lloyds could face criminal prosecution, authorities said. None of the other nine banks was identified because they are working out similar agreements with Morgenthau's investigators. The CIA will also review the bank records. Steven Weber, a terrorism expert and professor of political science at the University of California Berkeley, said it is unusual for a bank like Lloyds to admit wrongdoing on such a large scale. "The consensus view is that Iran is one of if not the most active state sponsors of terrorist groups," Weber said. "There's a lot of people [in the U.S. government] thinking about ways to make it much harder for Iran to move money around." The laundering began more than 13 years ago and ran through 2007, according to the DA's probe. Lloyds also washed money for Sudanese banks, even though financial dealings with both governments are prohibited by international sanctions.

In the scheme, first disclosed last March by The News, Iran would deposit huge sums in the international banks, which then converted it into dollars and parceled it out under altered names and routing codes. The money was moved through a series of smaller banks and ultimately drawn on for banned purposes. "You couldn't tell where the money was coming from or where it was going to," said Morgenthau. Because the origin of the funds was disguised, the money slipped through computerized filters at New York banks designed to stop any transfers to and from Iranian interests, Morgenthau said. Much of the money went to Iranian banks, which typically send money to terror groups in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Afghanistan through front organizations and so-called charities, according to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. wsherman@nydailynews.com

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10 comments:

don't bank on it said...

No surprise here. The banks have been given a pass at illegal activity forever. And the judges routinely side with the banks because they are banks. Judges and lawyers know where the money is... in banks.

Anonymous said...

The mob has run the local NY banks for years. The Bank of New York is among the worst.

Anonymous said...

HOLY FREAKING COW...WHEN YOU THINK YOU'VE READ IT ALL..THIS TOPS THE CAKE..GREAT ARTICLE, MR. BRADY

Anonymous said...

No. 2 probably has it right with the comment on who has run the banks for years which is probably part of why nothing ever changes in NY.

earlier this year this blog had Morgenthau himself allegedly in the crosshairs of federal investigations surrounding the Spitzer mess but no one has heard anything about that ever since.

is that part of exactly why nothing everh changes in NY? since, Morgenthau probably knows or is part of the problems down there which affect the whole state but since now his office is involved in this major deal with investigating Iran everyone will forget that he has been alleged as part of the Problems in NY and the Courts so that will never change or be fixed since everyone will be distracted by this Iran thing??

there is a gentleman from Queens who was screwed hard for substantial sums out of his father's estate up in Ulster County with a Judge visiting from Columbia County and the Queens gentleman had the interest of the fbi up here, but then, Oh, sorry, Sept. 11th happened and the agency has never done anything since on state corruption is what is being told

so how about hearing What Happened to those Posts indicating the Feds were looking at Morgenthau HIMSELF?????

Anonymous said...

what about those posts earlier this year that Career professionals at Justice had staked their professional reputations on some big matters in NY that would Shock the Whole Country when cleaned up??

that was supposed to be happening before Jan. 1 and it is Jan. 10 now and Jan. 20 Inaugeration and change comes soon??

sure it is realized that whatever it is is likely Huge but has it been forgotten? will NYers ever see this?? will it be or has it been crushed by the new politics of change????

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to the scrutiny on Senator Schumer of the US Senate Judiciary Committee in all of this Madoff and Wall Street mess?

Here is a Local article just published indicating that Senator Schumer is seeking Billions of Medicaid Dollars as a way to Bailout Local Governments including NY and upstate Counties.

http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2009/01/10/news/news07.txt


Ironically, this article comes on the Heels of a Recent NY Post Story this past Monday showing how the Federal Government thru the US Attorney of the Eastern District of NY Identified nearly $50 Million in Systematic Medicaid FRAUD at 7 or more Hospitals Including the Columbia Memorial Hosptial in Columbia County in upstate where this article was published.

Here is the Link to the NY Post Story on the $50 Million Medicaid Fraud by the Hospitals.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01052009/news/regionalnews/hosp_drug_abue_147254.htm

A confidential local source who was a former County Worker was interviewed by the FBI in the Hudson Valley Region back in 2004 about Medicaid Fraud and during that same time frame several County workers all of sudden moved on to Different jobs often moving out of state.

Sources report that former State Comptroller Hevesi has found several Million in Unaccounted for Medicaid related Funds in this one upstate County but then Comptroller Hevesi went on to have his own issues and no more was ever heard on the topic.

This upstate County of Columbia located close to the capital of Albany with strong political ties to the former Gov Pataki Administration had Abnormally High Medicaid Expenditures during years 2000-2006 and same with Abnormally High Foster Care Rates during the same years when Gov Pataki was Cutting State Medicaid Inspectors and investigators and Lobbyist friends were going in to the Health Care Business.

The Third Department Appellate Division was provided in 2004 and in subsequent years with direct proof of Fraud and Falsifying of Court records implicating at least one Judge and several attorneys and yet no referrals were ever made to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct nor to the Attorney Discipline Committees.

The NY Times has reported over the years that Medicaid Fraud is an $18Billion Dollar a year problem in NY.

Shouldn't the Taxpayers Know HOW the previous Medicaid FRAUD has been Allowed to go Unchecked and Occur before More Taxpayer Money is given to the Same group of People to potentially squander and defraud and waste once again?

Some folks in this process wrote to Senator Schumer about these problems and about FBI investigations that disappeared and US Attorney office that never followed through in UPstate.

Is this more of the same like Wall Street where certain folks at the Top let the Fraud and Waste occur in the first place and then simply borrow more Public Money to give back to the same folks who committed the problems in the first place without ever correcting the problems???

Anonymous said...

i am sure all the deals were reviwed by thier legal team.
Will Lawyers ever be held accountable.
I wonder if that can also qualify as treason?

Anonymous said...

This is no surprise. Among the illegal money laundering the big banks are involved in include internet gambling. There are federal and state laws which prohibit banks from processing these transactions.

Cuomo touted that he had agreements with the banks to not process these transactions, yet billions are gambled yearly.

Cuomo was told how the banks are doing this, but ignored the evidence and has absolutely refused to take any action.

If the banks are allowed to process billions of dollars of illegal gambling transactions, is it any surprise that they do it for any other illegal operation?

Anonymous said...

only one bank was named in the article. who are the other banks? what are their names? is it a secret?

Anonymous said...

Citi bank.

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