U.S. authorities are reportedly conducting a criminal investigation into the actions of former senior executives of Dutch lender Rabobank's U.S. arm, who are suspected of trying to cover up deficiencies in anti-money laundering processes.
The Department of Justice is considering whether to press charges against the former CEO of California-based Rabobank NA, John Ryan, as well as former general counsel Dan Weiss and former compliance chief Laura Akahoshi, Bloomberg News reported May 10, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Beginning in 2009, bank branches in California near the border with Mexico were used by gangs to channel profits from organized crime.
In February, Rabobank NA pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud U.S. authorities by concealing deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program. These deficiencies allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable cash to be deposited and moved without the requisite notifications to federal authorities. The company incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in charges to resolve the matter.
The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency plans to impose sanctions on the former executives, one source told Bloomberg. It has already informed Akahoshi of its intention to ban her from the banking industry and fine her $50,000, Bloomberg said, citing a legal document.
The DOJ has not yet filed criminal charges against the individuals, and prosecutors have not yet finalized how they will proceed with the investigation.