The intensifying scrutiny of HSBC is the latest in a series of investigations by U.S. officials into how global banks have processed — and in some cases, intentionally hidden — financial transactions on behalf of countries which allegedly support terrorism, corrupt foreign officials, drug gangs and criminals. Since 2008, European and U.S. banks have signed deferred prosecution agreements and paid more than $1.2 billion in penalties for alleged violations of anti-money laundering regulations.
The specific focus of the Senate probe of HSBC isn’t known. A Reuters review of legal documents and prior regulatory probes, though, points to a number of alleged breakdowns in HSBC ‘s anti-money laundering systems.
Investigations into how the bank allegedly was used to launder money extend to Vienna, W. Va. There, a pain-management doctor named Barton J. Adams was indicted in 2008 by the Justice Department on 169 counts of alleged healthcare fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and witness tampering. Adams allegedly moved hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicare fraud proceeds between an HSBC Bank USA internet account and other HSBC accounts in Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines, according to U.S. District Court filings in West Virginia. Dr. Adams has pleaded not guilty.
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Original exclusive story at Reuters: here