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American Justice: JP Morgan Chase Bank Avoids Criminal Prosecution by Paying $88 Million in Fines for Violation of Bank Laws

| August 28, 2011

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank has agreed to pay $88 million to settle charges of sanction violations. The settlement with the US Treasury Department concerns a series of transactions involving Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. According to the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, J.P. Morgan processed a total of $178.5 million in 2005 and 2006 for Cuban nationals, violating US embargo laws.

The company discovered the illegal transactions in 2005 after it was tipped off by another financial institution, but failed to report the crimes and take proper action to prevent further illegality. The bank was also fined for loaning $2.9 million in 2009 to a bank with ties to the Iranian government. A third incident involved the bank’s failure, and 2010 and 2011, to produce documents regarding a wire transfer to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Bank officials were aware of every single one of these illegal transactions, and failed to inform regulators.

Despite these repeated illegalities, not a single bank official was criminally prosecuted, and no one went to jail. The bank was permitted to resolve the matter by simply paying a fine representing a small fraction of its daily profits.

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Category: Civil Law Matters, US Legal News

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