Iran General NewsBank agrees to forfeit $500 million to US

Bank agrees to forfeit $500 million to US

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AP: A bank formerly known as ABN Amro Bank N.V. agreed on Monday to pay the government $500 million for facilitating the movement of illegal funds through the U.S. financial system, the Justice Department announced.

The Associated Press

By PETE YOST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bank formerly known as ABN Amro Bank N.V. agreed on Monday to pay the government $500 million for facilitating the movement of illegal funds through the U.S. financial system, the Justice Department announced.

The bank, now named the Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., helped the countries of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba and banks in those nations evade U.S. laws, according to papers filed in the case. All four foreign countries were under U.S. economic sanctions for supporting international terror.

Court papers say some of ABN Amro’s offices systematically circumvented economic sanctions by advising banks in the sanctioned countries how to evade filters at financial institutions in the United States.

ABN Amro was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of failing to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program. The conspiracy count alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act.

The Justice Department says ABN Amro will be under a deferred prosecution agreement. The U.S. government will recommend dismissal of the charges against the bank in one year if the financial institution cooperates with U.S. investigators.

In 2005, ABN Amro paid penalties in the case to various regulatory bodies and to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ABN Amro’s alleged misconduct involved “stripping information from transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who oversees the Justice Department’s criminal division.

U.S. Attorney Ron Macahen said that over the course of a decade, ABN Amro assisted banks in the sanctioned countries in carrying out hundreds of millions of transactions that evaded U.S. laws.

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