Bank linked to ‘Panapa Papers’ hit with $180M laundering fine
New York’s top financial regulator slapped a “Panama Papers”-linked bank with a $180 million fine for anti-money laundering violations.
Mega Bank, a $103 billion Taiwanese bank with one New York office, ignored the risks associated with transactions involving Panama, a high-risk area for money laundering, the state Department of Financial Services said in a statement on Friday.
The bank had “suspicious” accounts that were formed with the help of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” leak, which revealed companies and wealthy individuals who dodged taxes, the DFS said.
The bank had lax controls and relied on untrained personnel, including a chief compliance officer who wasn’t familiar with anti-money-laundering rules, according to the DFS.
The fine is the harshest penalty since superintendent Maria T. Vullo took over the agency this year.
“DFS will not tolerate the flagrant disregard of anti-money laundering laws and will take decisive and tough action against any institution that fails to have compliance programs in place to prevent illicit transactions,” Vullo said .
Mega Bank didn’t admit or deny any wrongdoing in the consent order.