U.S. prosecutors asked a federal judge to sign off on HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s $1.9 billion settlement of charges it enabled drug cartels to launder millions of dollars in trafficking proceeds.
Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Justice Department Wednesday filed a brief in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, defending the deal, the bank can avoid further prosecution. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson last month told both sides to justify the accord, saying there had been 'some publicized criticism' of it.
The agreement is justified because it includes the largest-ever forfeiture in the prosecution of a bank and provides for monitoring to prevent future violations, prosecutors said.
'These strict conditions, and the unprecedented forfeiture and penalties imposed, serve as a significant deterrent against future similar conduct', the government said.
HSBC was accused of employing lax oversight procedures for transactions in Mexico and other areas considered at risk for money laundering. The London-based bank failed to monitor more than $670bn in wire transfers and more than $9.4bn in purchases of U.S. dollars from HSBC Mexico, prosecutors said.
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