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April 25, 2014

Breaking News:

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

IMF Chief Lagarde’s Home Searched over Tapie Scandal -

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HSBC Faces Criminal Charges in Argentina

Photo from www.cbsnews.com

British banking juggernaut HSBC, which was recently derided by U.S. lawmakers as “Too Big To Jail” after a settlement deal was reached regarding exposed money laundering practices, is now facing fresh allegations of criminal activity by Argentinian authorities.

Argentinian tax chief Ricardo Echegaray, in a public statement about the investigation, said that an Argentinian subsidiary of the bank was found to have helped its clients illegally evade over $100 million in taxes, in addition to participating in other money laundering activities connected to criminal enterprises.

Official charges were filed against the bank’s local subsidiary in February, following a six month investigation in to its alleged criminal activities. Monday, the state laid out its case against the bank’s subsidiary before a federal judge. In response HSBC’s Latin American spokeswoman Lyssette Bravo stated that the charges “are of great concern,” and pledged to work “cooperatively with authorities to ensure a thorough review and appropriate resolution of the matter.

Authorities claim that under a “roll out” of tax evasion and money moving financial tools and services, HSBC helped clients dodge $121 million in taxes through use of subsidiary banks funneling revenues via phantom bank accounts. In a press conference, Mr. Echegaray stated that the investigation pointed to “decisive participation” on the part of company executives in the hiding of financial information. This is a marked departure from the typical prosecution of banking institutions, in that seldom if ever are corporate offices or employees held individually responsible for the criminal liabilities of the companies they work for.

The investigation comes in the wake of an international uproar over the apparent criminal immunity that larger investment banks and multinational financial institutions enjoy when under investigation for criminal impropriety. In addition to charges filed against the institution in February, some individual HSBC corporate officers in this case, are now facing criminal charges of “illicit association,” which under Argentinian law, can result in up to ten years in prison. To date, despite the now multiple charges of criminal money laundering and tax evasion, none of HSBC’s corporate officers or employees have faced criminal indictments or jail time from U.S. authorities.

The bank, which is estimated to possess $2.7 trillion in assets worldwide, has lost nearly $4 billion to fines and settlements over the course of the last year due to criminal and financial fraud investigations. In addition to the $1.9bn settlement reached with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, HSBC was ordered to pay a total of $2.3bn to British authorities for mis-selling financial products on the open market. The recent string of criminal and malfeasance allegations leveled at the bank over the past year has led to at least some changes in the bank’s internal handling of fraud and criminal activity.

Amidst the fallout from the U.S. investigation last year, HSBC has since appointed former Treasury Department official Robert Werner to head up their international legal and financial compliance programs. Werner, who was in charge of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, joined with HSBC last August after leaving a similar position with Goldman Sachs. In addition to this, the bank has stated that it has committed upwards of $290 million to improve compliance efforts.

In December, after multiple money laundering schemes involving drug cartels, hostile nations and even groups with ties to international terrorists were exposed by investigators, HSBC settled with the U.S. Justice Dept. to the tune of $1.9bn, to avoid further criminal prosecution. As reported last week, Federal Circuit Judge John Gleeson has yet to sign off on the deal, leaving the door open to possible indictments and criminal trials. With the full scope and nature of the bank’s criminal enterprises now coming further into view, some speculate that the full involvement of HSBC and its executives in global financial crime has yet to be discovered.

(Photo from www.cbsnews.com)

 

Nicholas Goroff (30 Posts)

Nicholas Goroff is a writer, activist and political consultant from Manchester, New Hampshire. He studied Criminal Justice and Political Science at Hesser and Saint Anselm Colleges and went on to pursue an impressive, if not unusual career in political and non-profit operations. He has organized with unions, managed field campaigns and phone banks, lobbied for non-profits and run opposition research and investigation operations. He was an active participant and writer within the Occupy movement and maintains contacts with active members. He has been a regular news commentator with the AEN Blogtalk Radio Network and has been the subject of both Backslash magazine and Connecticut Wits columns for his private political satires. He now writes for The Progressive Press, covering political and social stories from his home in New Hampshire.