Authorities reportedly set to crack down on banks for failing to monitor whether cash was being used to launder dirty money
Major US banks are being investigated for insufficiently safeguarding against being used by drug dealers or terrorist groups to launder dirty money, it was reported Saturday.
An article in the New York Times suggested that federal and state authorities were ready to launch an aggressive crackdown on the failure to monitor transactions, in a move aimed at flagging to financial institutions that weak compliance is unacceptable.
Officials told the Times that regulators are close to taking action against JP Morgan, while other firms including Bank of America are also being investigated over perceived shortcomings when it comes to putting a check on money-laundering activities.
It comes just months after a Senate committee roundly criticised HSBC for ignoring warning signs that it was being used by money launderers and drug cartels in Mexico.
US politicians also accused HSBC of circumventing US sanctions on countries including Cuba and Iran – a charge that has also been levied against JP Morgan.
The Senate report was also highly critical of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), stating that the regulator needed to take “stronger action” on banks that exercise poor anti-money laundering controls.
The OCC is now leading the crackdown on non-compliant banks, according to the New York Times report.
It suggested that a “cease-or-desist” order could be issued against JP Morgan in the coming months, forcing the bank to review its checks, and implement measures to firm up its safeguards.
Prosecutors from the justice department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are also investigating lapses at a number of financial institutions, it was reported.
If action is taken against JP Morgan it will comes as a further blow to a bank still reeling from a $5.8bn trading loss that led to a political firestorm in the US and led to a tighter regulation of Wall Street.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012
[Banker kissing piggy-bank for savings via Shutterstock.com.]
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."