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Report: Former StanChart employee to plead guilty in Iran sanctions case

A former Standard Chartered PLC banker is poised to plead guilty to criminal charges in the U.S. for alleged breaches of Iran sanctions, the Financial Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter.

The case relates to a wider probe by U.S. prosecutors into whether StanChart continued to process transactions in U.S. dollars for Iran-controlled entities even after it agreed to pay $667 million in fines for carrying out similar activities in 2012.

One of the sources said StanChart conducted an internal probe on the matter and found at least one of the two bankers under investigation was receiving secret kickback payments, although no formal charges have yet been brought, according to the FT.

The British lender is in talks with U.S. authorities, who are looking to impose a penalty of as much as $1.5 billion on the lender for the alleged sanctions violations.

StanChart is set to meet with the U.S. Justice Department in the week of Jan. 14 to discuss the case, according to the sources. An admission of guilt by its former employee could weaken StanChart's position in the negotiations, the report noted.

In December 2018, the lender agreed to further extend its deferred prosecution agreements with the U.S. until March 31, 2019. StanChart entered the agreements in December 2012 over breaching U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.