U.S. Subsidiary Of Dutch Bank Pleads Guilty To Allegations That It Conspired To Obstruct OCC Examination Of AML Program

by Shearman & Sterling LLP
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On February 7, 2018, Dutch bank Rabobank’s U.S. subsidiary pleaded guilty to conspiring to impair, impede, and obstruct a review by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) of the bank’s anti-money laundering (“AML”) program, agreeing to forfeit more than $368 million as a result.  See United States v. Rabobank, National Association, 18-cr-0614, Plea Agreement (Feb. 7, 2018); DOJ Press Release, Rababank NA Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Pay Over $360 Million, No. 18-148 (Feb. 7, 2018).

As part of the plea, Rabobank’s U.S. subsidiary agreed to a statement of facts.  The statement of facts detailed alleged deficiencies in the bank’s AML program that the Department of Justice claimed allowed hundreds of millions of dollars to be deposited into bank branches, and transferred via wire transfers, checks, and cash transactions, without proper notification of federal regulators.  The statement of facts also detailed alleged efforts by certain executives of Rabobank’s U.S. subsidiary to conceal such deficiencies during the OCC’s 2012 examination of the bank’s AML compliance program.  For example, the DOJ claimed that the bank maintained a “verified list,” which instructed employees to conduct no investigation into a transaction, customer, or account if the customer was on the list as an end-run around the need to review transactions and file Suspicious Activity Reports; but when the OCC made inquiries, the DOJ alleged that the bank responded with false and misleading information, including with respect to the state of Rabobank’s AML program generally and also with respect to the existence of reports developed by a third party-consultant detailing deficiencies of the AML program. 

The settlement is among the largest U.S. AML settlements with a foreign bank in the last several years.  

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.

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