Magazine article American Banker

Manhattan D.A. Seeks Banks' Help in Money Laundering Fight

Magazine article American Banker

Manhattan D.A. Seeks Banks' Help in Money Laundering Fight

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Wack

WASHINGTON a Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., an aggressive prosecutor of money laundering cases, made a strong appeal Monday for information-sharing between banks and law enforcement.

In a speech to industry representatives, Vance tried to allay concerns that the suspicious activity reports that banks send to law-enforcement agencies are never actually read by anyone.

"I want to start by putting that to rest," he said.

At the same time, Vance said that information-sharing should be a two-way street. He spoke about an effort that his office has started to provide information from its investigations to financial institutions.

"It's a partnership between law enforcement and the financial community, done with appropriate constraints and appropriate sharing of information," Vance said.

His remarks came at the annual anti-money laundering conference sponsored by the American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has been involved in high-profile international money-laundering cases that resulted in large penalties against three foreign banks a Credit Suisse, Barclays and Lloyds TSB.

"Foreign banks that were processing these payments for customers in Iran, Sudan and Libya and other rogue nations violated the law and in so doing undermined international security," Vance said. "And they did so systematically, intentionally and often part of their daily business. …

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