Is the second-largest bank on the planet also one of the most far-reaching criminal organizations? The New York Times reports:
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Federal and state authorities plan to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC on Tuesday, a major victory in the government’s broad crackdown on money laundering at banks.
The settlement with HSBC stems from accusations that the British banking giant transferred billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the American financial system, according to officials briefed on the matter. Prosecutors found that the bank had facilitated money laundering by cartels and had moved tainted money for Saudi Arabian banks tied to terrorist organizations.
Since January 2009, the Justice and Treasury Departments and Manhattan prosecutors have charged six foreign banks, including Credit Suisse and Barclays. In June, ING Bank reached a $619 million settlement to resolve claims that it had transferred billions of dollars in the United States for Cuba and Iran.