Danske Bank admitted to fraud and agreed to forfeit $2 billion to end a long-running US probe into money laundering at its Estonian branch, an embarrassing episode that ousted top management and forced thousands of customers to leave .
The company on Tuesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and admitted to providing banking services through its Estonian branch to suspect customers, including some in Russia, despite knowing there was a risk of money laundering, the US Justice Department said in a statement .
“For years, Danske Bank has lied and deceived US banks in order to pump billions of dollars in suspect and criminal funds through the US financial system,” Manhattan Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Denmark’s largest bank “consciously flouted US laws” and “facilitated the laundering of criminal and suspicious proceeds” by the US financial system, he said.
The scheme was revealed when an overlooked whistleblower working at the Estonian branch contacted Danish media and revealed the bank had ignored signs pointing to “potentially criminal transactions” to transfer billions of dollars to the West from 2008 to 2017 to move, even from Russian customers said the Ministry of Justice.
Danske Bank said in September 2018 that it had failed to adequately screen €200 billion in cash held by foreigners.
The size of the fine matches the provisions Danske has set aside for the case, most recently in October when it said it was close to agreeing to a $2 billion fine.
The Copenhagen-based lender said it would pay the US Department of Justice $1.21 billion, the US Securities and Exchange Commission $179 million and the Danish Special Crime Unit DKR 4.75 billion (EUR 638 million).
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/danske-pays-2bn-to-end-money-laundering-and-fraud-probes-in-us-and-denmark-42217670.html Danske pays $2 billion to end money laundering and fraud investigations in US and Denmark