Standard Chartered Bank reaches $327 million settlement for illegal transactions

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., together with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), today announced the resolution of a joint investigation into the criminal conduct of STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (SCB), a British bank, and the payment of $327 million in penalties and forfeiture to resolve the matter. In the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and corresponding Statement of Facts, SCB admitted that it violated New York State law by falsifying the records of New York financial institutions and by submitting false statements to its state and federal regulators about its business conduct.

The $327 million resolution includes parallel resolutions of regulatory inquiries, in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board of Governors)imposed an additional $100 million civil monetary penalty, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury (OFAC) issued a settlement of $132 million for apparent violations arising out of the same pattern of conduct.

“Investigations of financial institutions, businesses, and individuals who violate U.S. sanctions by misusing banks in New York are vitally important to national security and the integrity of our banking system,” said District Attorney Vance. “Banks occupy positions of trust. It is a bedrock principle that they must deal honestly with their regulators. My Office will accept nothing less – too much is at stake for the people of New York and this country. These cases give teeth to sanctions enforcement, send a strong message about the need for transparency in international banking, and ultimately contribute to the fight against money laundering and terror financing. I thank our federal partners for their cooperation and assistance in pursuing this investigation.”

SCB moved more than $200 million through the U.S. financial system primarily on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese clients by removing—or “stripping”—information that would have revealed the payments as originating with a sanctioned country or entity. These transactions otherwise would have been rejected, blocked, or stopped for investigation under OFAC regulations. These prohibited dollar-denominated transactions violated New York and U.S. laws by concealing the illegal nature of these transactions and deceiving U.S. banks into processing the illegal payments.

Press release link: click here

US Treasury press release link: click here

Detailed text of settlement agreement: click here