Shades of Spitzer: New York Law Enforcement Takes Aggressive Stance on AML and LIBOR Scandals

by Ballard Spahr LLP
Contact

In a one-two punch reminiscent of Eliot Spitzer’s tenure as New York Attorney General, that State’s law enforcement authorities beat their federal counterparts to the punch by bringing proceedings in the most highly publicized financial scandal of the year: Standard Chartered Bank’s alleged money laundering on behalf of Iranian entities and the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.

Standard Chartered

New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, last Tuesday announced a $340 million settlement with Standard Chartered to resolve allegations that the bank laundered $250 billion through its New York branch on behalf of the Iranian government, Iranian banks, and other Iranian corporate entities, in violation of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and OFAC Iran Sanctions regulations. As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to strengthen its AML and OFAC compliance with respect to overseas transactions. Ballard Spahr will conduct a webinar on September 5, 2012, to discuss what lessons banks and other entities with AML compliance responsibilities can learn from the enforcement action.

Mr. Lawsky had earlier issued an order requiring the U.K. bank to appear at a hearing to answer questions about "wire stripping," a procedure that removes client-identifying information from wire transfers. According to factual allegations in the order, Standard Chartered had, over an approximately 10-year period, routed nearly 60,000 different U.S. dollar payments through its New York branch "after first stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, individuals and entities." According to the order, the transactions provided Standard Chartered with millions of dollars in fees at a time when such trade was restricted and left the U.S. financial system "vulnerable to terrorists."

LIBOR

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has demanded documents from a number of large international banks as part of an investigation into whether there was any collusion to fix interest rates determined under LIBOR that could have injured New York borrowers or investors. The investigation is being conducted pursuant to a 1921 State statute, the Martin Act, which allows the investigation of anyone doing business in New York and permits authorities to bring a case without any need to show the intention to commit fraud.

Joining in this investigation is Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. Their efforts follow investigations initiated by federal regulators as well as law enforcement authorities in other countries, including Japan, Canada, and the U.K.

Criticism from the Feds

As in the Spitzer era, federal authorities have been critical of New York’s initiatives. New York can be expected to cooperate with federal authorities, but these recent developments suggest impatience with the lagging pace of those parallel investigations. Particularly interesting is the possibility that, if the documents sought in the New York probe should bear fruit, other state law enforcement officials might be emboldened to follow suit.

Ballard Spahr’s Bank Regulation and Supervision Group, Consumer Financial Services Group, and White Collar/Investigations Group include experienced lawyers who regularly assist clients in corporate investigations, responses to subpoenas, and civil investigative demands. For more information, contact Keith R. Fisher in the Bank Regulation and Supervision Group at 202.661.2284 or fisherk@ballardspahr.com, Beth Moskow-Schnoll in the Consumer Financial Services Group at 302.252.4447 or moskowb@ballardspahr.com, or Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr., in the White Collar/Investigations Group at 215.864.8204 or hockeimerh@ballardspahr.com.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ballard Spahr LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ballard Spahr LLP
Contact
more
less

Ballard Spahr LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!