Tag Archives | money laundering

Former Congressman’s Federal Corruption Trial Begins

A leading watchdog group named Renzi, above, as one of the top 20 most corrupt congressmen for three straight years. (Photo: Wikipedia)

A leading watchdog group named Renzi, above, as one of the top 20 most corrupt congressmen for three straight years. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Opening arguments in the Tucson trial of former Arizona Representative Rick Renzi (R-AZ) began Wednesday with federal prosecution characterizing Renzi as having engaged in “lying and stealing … taking advantage of people” and having “sold out his office.” Meanwhile Renzi counsel Kelly Kramer contended that his client “didn’t extort anybody … solicit any bribes” or “defraud anyone.” Charged with 32 counts of conspiracy, fraud and extortion, if convicted the three-term former congressman from Arizona’s 1st District could face up to 400 years of prison.

Dennis Wagner writes at The Arizona Republic:

In 2005 Resolution Copper Mining wanted surface rights to an ore-laden national forest area near [the town of] Superior. Another investment group involving former Gov. Bruce Babbitt [(D)] was seeking to trade private conservation land for potential development properties owned by the government near Phoenix.

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The Divine Farce

Joseph Grosso writes at Counterpunch:

If the recent report from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is true than it turns out that the first Pope to resign his post in almost six hundred years did so, at least in part, due to the existence of a faction of gay Vatican officials being blackmailed by outsiders of a ‘worldly influence’. This sordid affair apparently emerged from an investigation by a three Cardinal team that Pope Benedict XVI set up to look into the leaking of documents by the Pope’s own butler, Paolo Gabriele, who saw leaking the Pope’s personal correspondence to an investigative journalist as a noble act meant to spur reform in an organization dominated by infighting and corruption.

Just last month tourists visiting the shops inside the Vatican were prevented from using credit cards to buy tickets and souvenirs after the Bank of Italy found that the Vatican Bank’s safeguards against money laundering do not meet international standards.

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U.S. Goverment Says Drug Cartel-Linked Banking Giant HSBC Is Too Big To Jail

HSBC was fined of $1.9 billion this week for laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels. It’s worth noting that for the world’s second largest bank, with trillions in assets, this is equivalent to a littering ticket. The New York Times writes:

It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. They also have not charged any top HSBC banker in the case, though it boggles the mind that a bank could launder money as HSBC did without anyone in a position of authority making culpable decisions.

When prosecutors choose not to prosecute to the full extent of the law in a case as egregious as this, the law itself is diminished.

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Banking Giant HSBC Settles For $1.9 Billion Over Laundering Billions For Mexican Drug Cartels, Saudi Terrorists, And Iran

Is the second-largest bank on the planet also one of the most far-reaching criminal organizations? The New York Times reports:

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.

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Vatican Bank Investigated For Money Laundering – Again.

Emblem_of_the_PapacyI wonder which banking official will suddenly die during this investigation? Victor L. Simpson and Nicole Winfield report for AP:

VATICAN CITY – This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.

Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it’s under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize euro23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the “Vatican Bank” has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal.

The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a “misunderstanding” and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents show that prosecutors say the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws “with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital.” The documents also reveal investigators’ suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia.

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Tom DeLay Found Guilty Of Money Laundering, Facing Prison Sentence

jpDELAY-popupOld Disinfo fave Tom DeLay finally received what he had coming to him last week — the former House majority leader could be facing 5 to 99 years in prison after being found guilty of money-laundering. It’s nice to see the Hammer get nailed. The New York Times reports:

Tom DeLay, one of the most powerful and divisive Republican lawmakers ever to come out of Texas, was convicted Wednesday of money-laundering charges in a state trial, five years after his indictment here forced him to resign as majority leader in the House of Representatives.

After 19 hours of deliberation, a jury of six men and six women decided that Mr. DeLay was guilty of conspiring with two associates in 2002 to circumvent a state law against corporate contributions to political campaigns. He was convicted of one charge of money laundering and one charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As the verdict was read, Mr.

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