Rabobank banked millions in untraceable cash

Bank fined $368M for laundering drug money at border branches

Bank fined $368M for laundering drug money at border branches

The settlement agreement states that Rabobank will cooperate with the investigation, and that the US federal government will not seek additional criminal charges against the bank. In pleading guilty, Rabobank admitted to conspiring with several former executives to defraud the U.S.by unlawfully impeding the OCC's ability to regulate the bank, and to obstruct an examination by the OCC of its operations throughout California, including its Calexico and Tecate bank branches.

Rabobank admitted that its deficient anti-money-laundering program permitted hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable cash to be deposited in its rural bank branches in Imperial County. The money was wired via wire transfers, checks and cash transactions without notifying federal regulators of the suspicious activity as required by law, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The US subsidiary of Dutch bank Rabobank is to pay over $368m in order to resolve money laundering allegation raised in the US.

The US branch of Rabobank has entered into a plea deal after it was accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars for drug traffickers.

The bank also pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation in an attempt to avoid the repeat of sanctions it received in 2006 and 2008 for "nearly identical failures", the DOJ added.

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The bank officials knew that the money may be tied to organized crime and drug trafficking.

"When Rabobank learned that substantial numbers of its customers' transactions were indicative of worldwide narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering activities, it chose to look the other way and to cover up deficiencies", the Justice Department's John Cronan said in a statement. "The bank should have known and they just chose not to report any suspicions activity". The list expanded from 10 clients in 2009 to more than 1,000 over the following three years.

The DOJ also described how the bank's Calexico branch, located about two blocks from the U.S. -Mexico border, was the bank's "highest performing" branch in the region because of the high level of cash deposits from Mexico.

"Rabobank admitted it was aware that the suspicious transactions made by certain customers were indicative of worldwide narcotics trafficking, organized crime and money laundering", prosecutors said.

The company admitted that several of its Southern California border-area branches laundered money for worldwide drug traffickers, failed to properly investigate the suspicious transactions and then deceived and obstructed federal investigators who were on the verge of discovering the illicit activity.

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