A report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found five global banks moved "staggering sums of illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks that have spread chaos and undermined democracy around the world."
The report said that JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank and other financial services companies had defied money laundering crackdowns even after being fined by U.S. authorities.
The report cited documents leaked by BuzzFeed News that identified more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity, including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.
JPMorgan allegedly moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the report said, according to the documents known as the FinCEN Files, the result of an investigation by more than 100 news organizations in 88 countries.
JPMorgan also processed more than $50 million in payments over a decade, the records showed, for Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, the report said.
A spokesman for Bank of New York told Bloomberg the bank “takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system seriously, including filing Suspicious Activity Reports.”
Barclays said in a statement to Buzzfeed that it invests significant resources in detecting and flagging suspicious activity.
Some of the secret records were requested as part of U.S. congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, BuzzFeed News reported, while others were gathered by FinCEN following requests from law enforcement agencies.
FinCEN and its parent, the Treasury Department did not respond to the consortium's questions about the documents.
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