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.
But no jail time…
For years, Citigroup employees feared that millions of dollars the bank was moving to Mexico might be suspicious. Yet in many cases, the bank did not alert regulators or step up its monitoring for money laundering, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Even as the Citigroup unit Banamex USA was growing to dominate remittances from the United States to Mexico, the bank did not properly safeguard its systems from being infiltrated by drug money and other illicit funds, prosecutors said.
On Monday, Citigroup agreed to pay $97.4 million in a settlement after a long federal investigation into Banamex USA. In exchange, the Justice Department will not file criminal charges against the bank in connection with inadequate oversight of Banamex USA, which is based in California.
As part of the agreement, Banamex USA “admitted to criminal violations by willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money-laundering” compliance program, the Justice Department said.
Wall Street’s bet against empty malls is getting too crowded, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts, who instead recommend wagering against individual retailers as the “next big short.”
Investors should consider buying default protection through the derivatives market on a basket of bonds from retailers that include Target Corp., Gap Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Macy’s Inc., according to Citi’s Anindya Basu and Calvin Vinitwatanakhun.
The strategy differs from the one pursued by a growing number of hedge funds, which have wagered against mall properties through CMBX derivatives indexes that tracks commercial mortgage-backed securities. The prevailing theory is that failing brick-and-mortar retailers will mean higher vacancies and bankruptcies for mall operators, with losses inflicted on CMBS holders.
Law360, New York (February 21, 2017, 10:34 PM EST) — A New York federal judge on Tuesday trimmed a putative class action brought by investors who say they lost money in derivatives transactions because big banks conspired to manipulate Euribor, the euro interbank offered rate. But two plaintiffs, including a California retirement fund, still have claims against JPMorgan and Citigroup.
U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel cut four plaintiffs from the suit, saying they lacked standing, as well as six foreign defendants who didn’t fall under his jurisdiction because their allegedly illegal activities weren’t tied to the U.S. He also dismissed all Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Commodity Exchange Act claims from the suit and cut three out of four Sherman Act claims in the case.
Citigroup Inc. C, -1.75% said late Friday that federal officials have launched a probe into the bank’s foreign hiring practices, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “Government and regulatory agencies in the U.S., including the SEC, are conducting investigations or making inquiries concerning compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other laws with respect to the hiring of candidates referred by or related to foreign government officials,” Citigroup said in the filing.
Citigroup Inc (C.N) said on Monday it would speed up the transformation of its U.S. mortgage business by exiting servicing operations by the end of 2018.
Citi said it would sell its mortgage servicing rights on about 780,000 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans of non-Citibank retail customers to New Residential Mortgage LLC (NRZ).
The remaining Citi-owned loans and other mortgage servicing rights not sold to NRZ are expected to be transferred to loan servicing provider Cenlar FSB [CENLR.UL] in 2018.
The lender said it expected these deals to hurt first-quarter pretax results by about $400 million, including a loss on sale and certain related transaction costs.
The move is intended to simplify CitiMortgage’s operations, reduce expenses and improve returns on capital as the company focuses on mortgage originations.