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Rabobank pays $369M for BSA/AML violations and obstruction

Roseville, CA
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The Department of Justice has announced that Rabobank National Association, a California subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., has pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge for "impairing, impeding and obstructing its primary regulator, the [OCC], by concealing deficiencies in its anti-money laundering (AML) program and for obstructing the OCC’s examination of Rabobank." Rabobank will forfeit $368,701,259 as a result of allowing illicit funds to be processed through the bank without adequate Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) or AML review.

"Rabobank admitted that its deficient AML program allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable cash, sourced from Mexico and elsewhere, to be deposited into its rural bank branches in Imperial County, and transferred via wire transfers, checks, and cash transactions, without proper notification to federal regulators as required by law. Knowing these failures, during the OCC’s 2012 examination of Rabobank’s BSA/AML compliance program, Rabobank executives actively sought to hide and minimize the deficiencies in its AML program in an effort to deceive the regulators as to its true state in hopes of avoiding regulatory sanctions that had previously been imposed on Rabobank in 2006 and 2008 for nearly identical failures."

Justice alleged in its charges that, when "Rabobank learned that substantial numbers of its customers’ transactions were indicative of international narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering activities, it chose to look the other way and to cover up deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program....Worse still, Rabobank took steps to obstruct an examination by its regulator into those same deficiencies."

In a coordinated announcement, the OCC said it has terminated a cease and desist consent order issued to the bank in December 2013, and issued a consent order for the payment of a $50,000,000 civil money penalty, which has been paid to the U.S. Treasury toward satisfaction of Treasury's forfeiture order.

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