The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed in a shocking expose that international banks are skirting U.S. sanctions and allowing trillions of dollars to flow to terrorists, criminals and oligarchs.
In a Sunday report, the ICIJ called out JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon for refusing to comply with American sanctions, U.S. government documents reveal.
Other banks have even defied money laundering crackdowns, the report said and allowed "staggering sums of illicit cash" to flow from shady characters and criminal networks.
Unfortunately, they're being allowed to do it because the government agencies that are tasked with enforcing money-laundering laws don't go after big banks. So, the banks are allowed to freely break the law, international or U.S., and make money while doing so.
"In some cases, the banks kept moving illicit funds even after U.S. officials warned them they'd face criminal prosecutions if they didn't stop doing business with mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes," the report also said.
JP Morgan Chase is the largest offender after Trump's bank of choice, Deutsche Bank, the report revealed.
"The bank moved more than $1 billion for the fugitive financier behind Malaysia's 1MDB scandal, the records show, and more than $2 million for a young energy mogul's company that has been accused of cheating Venezuela's government and helping cause electrical blackouts that crippled large parts of the country," documents show.
They're also the same bank that allowed Paul Manafort to pass $50 million in payments over a decade.
"By utterly failing to prevent large-scale corrupt transactions, financial institutions have abandoned their roles as front-line defenses against money laundering," ex-Justice Department prosecutor Paul Pelletier said. He spent years prosecuting financial crimes.
Banks know that "they operate in a system that is largely toothless," he added.
Deutsche Bank is responsible for at least $1.3 trillion in suspicious activity, JPMorgan has over $514 billion, Standard Chartered dealt over $166 billion, Bank of New York Mellon passed over $64 billion in sketchy cash, and Barclays was just under $22 billion.