Federal judge OKs HSBC's $1.9B laundering penalty

Associated Press + More

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge approved a deal that will allow HSBC to pay a record $1.9 billion penalty to settle accusations the British Bank helped Mexican drug traffickers, Iran, Libya and others under U.S. suspicion or sanction move money around the world.

The settlement, originally announced in December, is the largest penalty ever imposed on a bank.

The Justice Department's case maintained that HSBC's failure to monitor itself allowed criminals and suspect countries like Cuba, Myanmar and Sudan to move hundreds of millions in prohibited transactions through U.S. financial institutions from the mid-1990s through 2006.

Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for New York's Eastern District approved the plan Monday. It requires court supervision of HSBC for five years, after which the U.S. will seek to dismiss the case.

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