Posted on Monday, 05.10.10
Bank agrees to forfeit $500 million to US
By PETE YOST
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — A bank formerly known as ABN Amro Bank N.V. agreed on
Monday to pay the government $500 million for facilitating the movement
of illegal funds through the U.S. financial system, the Justice
The bank, now named the Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., helped the
countries of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba and banks in those nations
evade U.S. laws, according to papers filed in the case. All four foreign
countries were under U.S. economic sanctions for supporting
Court papers say some of ABN Amro's offices systematically circumvented
economic sanctions by advising banks in the sanctioned countries how to
evade filters at financial institutions in the United States.
ABN Amro was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United
States and one count of failing to maintain an adequate anti-money
laundering program. The conspiracy count alleged violations of the
International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the
The Justice Department says ABN Amro will be under a deferred
prosecution agreement. The U.S. government will recommend dismissal of
the charges against the bank in one year if the financial institution
cooperates with U.S. investigators.
In 2005, ABN Amro paid penalties in the case to various regulatory
bodies and to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.
ABN Amro's alleged misconduct involved "stripping information from
transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations,"
said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who oversees the Justice
Department's criminal division.
U.S. Attorney Ron Macahen said that over the course of a decade, ABN
Amro assisted banks in the sanctioned countries in carrying out hundreds
of millions of transactions that evaded U.S. laws.