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Rabobank banked millions in untraceable cash

Institution admitted deficiencies in anti-money-laundering program

Rabobank National Association, a subsidiary of a Netherlands bank, pleaded guilty in federal court February 7 to unlawfully impeding a U.S. examination of its California operations, including Calexico and Tecate branches.

Rabobank admitted that its deficient anti-money-laundering program permitted hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable cash to be deposited in its rural bank branches in Imperial County. The loot was transferred without Rabobank notifying United States banking authorities.

In 2013, the bank actively sought to deceive regulators about its operations. Rabobank admitted it knew that suspicious transactions made by customers involved International narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime.

The bank will have to pay a fine of $368.7 million, the largest financial penalty in the Southern District of California court area.

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Rabobank National Association, a subsidiary of a Netherlands bank, pleaded guilty in federal court February 7 to unlawfully impeding a U.S. examination of its California operations, including Calexico and Tecate branches.

Rabobank admitted that its deficient anti-money-laundering program permitted hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable cash to be deposited in its rural bank branches in Imperial County. The loot was transferred without Rabobank notifying United States banking authorities.

In 2013, the bank actively sought to deceive regulators about its operations. Rabobank admitted it knew that suspicious transactions made by customers involved International narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime.

The bank will have to pay a fine of $368.7 million, the largest financial penalty in the Southern District of California court area.

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Comments
19

The notion that a corporation can plead guilty to a crime, let alone a felony, is a strange concept. People employed by Rabobank were those who failed to obey the laws about handling large amounts of cash, and it was those same people or others also employed who impeded the examination. Yet there's no mention of any of them being personally charged, and if a case could be made that the bank broke the law, it was by tracing actions of individuals.

It looks as if the Dutch bankers are as slimy, dishonest, and crooked as the Swiss.

Feb. 8, 2018

I think the occupational profile transcends nationality. There's every reason for changing the name for members of this profession to "banksters."

Feb. 8, 2018

Cassander: Great idea. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 8, 2018

Visduh: Unfortunately, that is how bank crime is handled. I don't think there were any criminal convictions of any topside banker following the 2008 Great Recession, which was greatly caused by banks' excesses.

I haven't heard that there has been any conviction of a Wells Fargo official for its recent egregious sins. The bank itself has been slammed, but individuals go free. Maybe some lower-middle executive will get fingered. Top management will skate.Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 8, 2018

I did recently read an article that said the bank's VP of compliance entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for his role in aiding and abetting the bank's failure to maintain an anti-money laundering program, in return for becoming a cooperating witness against other bank executives and that the investigation is still ongoing.

Feb. 10, 2018

danfogel: I had not read that. Thanks for adding meat to the story. I would like to see actual prison sentences for top bank officials in San Diego clearly guilty of knowledgeable laundering of drug money. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 10, 2018

Mike Murphy: I will bet that no one goes to the hoosegow over this. See my response to Visduh above. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 8, 2018

I used to live near a Rabobank. I thought it was a stupid name for a bank.

Feb. 10, 2018

AlexClarke: Well, it is a subsidiary of a European bank. That explains the unusual name. I would like to know if it appeared to be a normal bank branch. I would particularly like to know if the Rabobank branches along the border look like normal banks. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 10, 2018

Per Wikipedia, the name Rabobank was created from Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank. That explains the unusual name, not just being a "European bank."

Feb. 10, 2018

dwbat: The parent is based in the Netherlands. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 10, 2018

Obviously I knew that. I do necessary research. You keep offering information I learned before you did. Why? It's baffling.

Feb. 10, 2018

dwbat: You obviously don't understand something. When I answer a query, I am not just addressing the person who asked the question. I am framing an answer for everybody that reads the responses on the blog, hoping to stimulate more questions and colloquy. You seem to think I am only responding to you. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 10, 2018

If you wish to impart information to all readers, then please post it as a new message, rather than a personal reply to one person. That is the proper way.

Feb. 12, 2018

dwbat: Sorry. It doesn't work that way. A new message may not be posted for hours, if at all. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 12, 2018

Is there something wrong with your computer or Internet connection? I've never had the problem you are describing.

Feb. 12, 2018

dwbat: When answering a question about the subject of the blog, the answer belongs under the blog. Period. It would be folly to put up a new blog on the same topic. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 13, 2018

You're possibly confused with the wordage. I never said to "put up a new blog." I said to post it as a new message [obviously below the blog], rather than just replying to a specific person. "Message" means comment, not a "new blog." This is simple stuff to discern.

Feb. 13, 2018

dwbat: My current method has worked very well and it is hardly improper. Don't you have anything productive to do? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 13, 2018

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