Bank employees at Citigroup had suspicions for years that more than $1 billion in payments being sent over 30 million transactions to Mexico through its Banamex USA division were shady. Despite ample evidence, that generated some 18,000 suspicious transaction alerts, the company only initiated 10 investigations, filing just half a dozen suspicious activity reports with federal regulators.
Now, the California-based Banamex USA has conceded it violated criminal laws for its failure to have adequate anti-money-laundering safeguards in place. For its part, Citigroup admitted it didn’t maintain adequate oversight of Banamex. For this, it will pay $97.4 million, a settlement agreement that will steer it clear of criminal charges related to the inquiry.
Miami debt defense attorneys recognize this kind of action as revealing where the priorities of bankers truly lie. While large banks like Citigroup are quick to take consumers to task – sometimes even to court – over a few missed credit card payments or a default mortgage after a job loss or on an underwater home, they turn a blind eye to what is clearly a viable source of income for violent criminal cartels. Continue reading