'Tour de Fraud' Earns Bank Record Fine
BNP Paribas fined almost $9B for bypassing sanctions
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2014 10:54 AM CDT
This Feb. 14, 2013, file photo shows BNP Paribas' logo at its headquarters in Paris, France.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

(Newser) – Federal prosecutors at last made good on their promise to get a guilty plea out of a major bank yesterday, as BNP Paribas agreed to a record fine of almost $9 billion for violating US sanctions. The bank, the biggest in France, "perpetrated what was truly a Tour de Fraud," said US Attorney Preet Bharara. The company allegedly cleared $190 billion for Sudan, Iran, and Cuba, the Wall Street Journal explains, but regulators could only prove $9 billion of those transactions were criminal. Had they taken BNP to court, they could have sought a fine twice as large.

None of BNP's individual employees have been charged, though the bank has fired 13 of them and disciplined 45 in some fashion. The Justice Department said the bank had effectively shielded them by being unwilling to cooperate sooner. This is just the beginning for the Justice Department, which intends to pursue a similar strategy against two other major French banks—Credit Agricole and Societe Generale—plus Germany's Deutsche Bank and Citigroup's Mexican unit Banamex, sources tell Reuters.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
dan6807
Jul 3, 2014 7:49 PM CDT
Good thing we have all these laws in place to deter fraud and keep things running smooth. I shudder to think what would happen if the bankers took it on themselves to place their interests above the people they serve.
Cindy
Jul 1, 2014 4:32 PM CDT
So why aren't they prosecuting the American Banks who put the world into recession and destroyed lives??????????????? I mean real jail time and real billions in fines....not the crap fines they've "negotiated" with the banks so far.
MattB
Jul 1, 2014 2:29 PM CDT
LOL! What a joke... Fnkg French.... Sellout everyone and who will save your a$$ the next time???? We should have let the Germans keep that country. their custom agents are $hit sticks. I love to give them greif until the CRS agent steps in, then it is yes and no sir, but they are normally pretty nice. probably because they have a semi auto slung across their chest.