Wachovia Ignores Mexican Money Laundering While Chase Harrasses Defense Distributed

According to an article in The Gaurdian, Wachovia bank ignored evidence that Mexican cartels were laundering billions of dollars through said bank:

“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank’s $12.3bn profit for 2009. On 24 March 2010, Wells Fargo stock traded at $30.86 – up 1% on the week of the court settlement.

Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

This comes just a few weeks after we learned that Chase bank cancelled Defense Distributed‘s account based not on illegal activity but because of politics. Here is Cody Wilson’s take on it from a recent interview with The Washington Post:

We’re regarded with suspicion. You might even say that it’s due, right? . . . So I have to file, like, affidavits that I’m not involved in illicit activity and online gambling, and I’m constantly just harassed with extra administrative supervision and stuff — this is while we were at Chase. We did like $18,000 in deposits one month this summer. We were doing business for Chase Bank, and treated more or less like — not resentment, but just like, “Ah, we’re a burden.”

So here we have a law student who runs a non-profit given the 3rd degree to make sure he is not a criminal, and on the other hand the drug cartels are laundering millions if not billions through Wachovia without raising much suspicion. Yep, everything seems to be working as planned.

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