Rabobank’s cover-up of a massive drug money laundering scheme perpetrated by Mexican drug cartels is the stuff of Narco’s Season 4 plot lines.
The US government will fine the Dutch bank $369M for illicitly “cleaning” hundreds of millions of dollars worth of narcotic’s profits. What’s worse is that Rabobank knew about the deposits and withdrawals and tried to cover their tracks. They even went as far as to “white list” (no pun intended) certain accounts (read: drug lord’s) to bypass internal controls. This has Accounting Ethics 101 case study written all over it.
Red flag number one? Rabobank’s highest performing location was its Calexico branch, about two blocks from the US-Mexico border. Oh, and all of that baking soda residue.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a large financial institution has been at the center of a money laundering scheme. In 2012 HSBC paid the US government $1.9B to settle accusations of money laundering for some of the biggest illegal drug traffickers in the world. Hmm, Wells Fargo doesn’t look so bad after all.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is the problem with drug lords these days. Why do they need to get cash into the US anyway? Can’t they be reasonable kingpins like Pablo Escobar and buy completely outlandish things like hippos or just burn their cash to stay warm/do the thing rappers only sing about?”