New York State Accuses Standard Chartered Bank of Conspiring with Iran
On August 6th, the New York State Department of Financial Services instituted administrative proceedings against Standard Chartered Bank (“SCB”) for allegedly scheming with the Government of Iran to hide from regulators approximately $250 billion in improper transactions over a ten year period.
The order instituting proceedings further alleges that SCB reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in fees as a result of its actions and “left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity.” Although the order discusses only SCB’s actions relating to Iran, it notes that SCB apparently engaged or attempted to engage in similar conduct with Libya, Myanmar, and Sudan. The order details how SCB sought to evade detection, with the apparent assistance of Deloitte & Touche, and how the bank flaunted U.S. laws in expletive laced communications. The order requires SCB to, among other things, demonstrate why its license to operate in the State of New York should not be revoked and demonstrate why its U.S. dollar clearing operations should not be suspended.