Magazine article American Banker

Bank of N.Y.Axes Exec in Spotlight of Russia Probe

Magazine article American Banker

Bank of N.Y.Axes Exec in Spotlight of Russia Probe

Article excerpt

Bank of New York Co. on Friday fired Lucy Edwards, one of two executives at the center of an international probe into suspected money laundering.

Ms. Edwards had been on administrative leave since mid-August, when the federal inquiry into transactions through $68 billion-asset Bank of New York was made public. She was an assistant vice president based in London and worked in the Eastern European division.

Ms. Edwards, 41, reported to Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky, senior vice president and head of that business unit, who had also been -- and continues to be -- on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Neither of the women has been charged with a crime.

Attempts to contact Ms. Edwards were unsuccessful. She was dismissed for alleged misconduct and violations of internal policies. A Bank of New York spokesman declined to comment, except to confirm the dismissal.

Bank of New York acknowledged earlier this month that it was cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office in New York "in the confidential investigation of the use of bank facilities to transfer funds from Russia to other countries." The bank said it had not been accused of wrongdoing.

Investigators searched the offices of Ms. Edwards and Ms. Kagalovsky almost two weeks ago, said people familiar with the matter. Federal authorities are looking at the possibility that $10 billion may have been laundered through a half-dozen accounts at Bank of New York since last year. Some of those accounts reportedly have links to suspected organized crime figures. The U.S. Attorney's office has declined to comment, as has the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which has also reportedly issued subpoenas in the case.

Republic New York Corp. has also been working with federal investigators, who were monitoring transactions in an account reportedly linked to a company called Torfinex. …

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