BuzzFeed Has Dug Up Damning Bank Documents

The 'FinCEN files' show how criminals, terrorists, and corrupt leaders use Western banks
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2020 2:10 PM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2020 4:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – The new Panama Papers are out, and they're just as ugly—if not worse. Leaked government documents show that big banks are laundering untold trillions of dollars for shady operators around the world and getting away with it, BuzzFeed reports. JPMorgan Chase and HSBC appear to be among the banks moving huge sums for drug kingpins, corrupt leaders, terrorists, organized crime groups, and others seeking to launder illicit funds and make them available in respectable bank accounts. The papers, known as the FinCEN files, were compiled by reporters and shared with over 100 media organizations across 88 countries. For more:

  • File and forget: The documents include over 2,100 suspicious activity reports, or SARs, which banks and financial firms file with the US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, when banks fear a client is breaking the law. But some experts say SARs are filed and mostly forgotten. The feds rarely crack down and the banks continue funneling the money while amassing billions of dollars in fees, per the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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