Tough-on-crime Jeff Sessions lets Citigroup off with fine for money laundering across the border

Daily Kos:

Because despite a whole lot of tough talk and a seemingly zero-tolerance approach to crime, Sessions and the Trump administration just let Citigroup-owned Banamex USA get away with six years worth of illegal activity with a hefty fine and no jail time for anyone involved.

Banamex and Citi officials knew of some 18,000 separate suspicious account activities from 2007 to 2012 yet reported just six to regulators, according to the description of the crimes in the deal. The transactions mostly involved remittance payments from people in the United States to account holders in Mexico — a standard class of transaction relied upon heavily by immigrants.

The transactions Citigroup failed to police internally or report to external authorities, however, were not typical worker remittances. Those usually involve small sums and scattered movements of money — as one would expect to see when a large group of individual workers are sending some of their pay back home to a large number of families.

But wait. What exactly happened to those long, harsh sentences and mandatory minimums? Guess they only apply to drug dealers. And only if you are black or brown. Since this wasn’t actually some hardworking immigrants sending money to relatives back home but instead some unknown “person or organization” sending large quantities of money back and forth across the border, Ol’ Jeffy thought to himself “Meh, we’ll let this one slide!”

Citigroup’s subsidiary noticed that very large remittances were flowing into the same bank account — as one might expect to see if illicit, scattered profits earned in the United States were being consolidated across the border by the person or organization who had made them possible. […]

Under the non-prosecution agreement, Citigroup-owned Banamex USA will pay $97.4 million and admit it broke the Bank Secrecy Act for years.

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