June 20th, 2012
Money, money, money. ING Bank, N.V. wasn’t even in the business of exporting goods, let alone military goods, and ran afoul of OFAC and other US laws. How? The bank was moving money in and out of the country for enemies of the United States.
$619 million dollars. That’s how much ING Bank is forfeiting to the US Justice Department and to New York State over its wrongdoing. They were being sneaky, but the government is serious about enforcing these laws. So says the US Attorney’s Office press release:
“Today, ING Bank was held accountable for their illegal actions involving the movement of more than $2 billion through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Cuban and Iranian entities subject to U.S. economic sanctions,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Investigations of this type are complicated and demand significant time and dedication from agents, analysts and prosecutors. In this case, their steadfast tenacity brought this case through to today’s result, and we will continue to pursue these matters in diligent fashion.”
The government puts in enough effort, and the fines are high enough, that the math never adds up. It’s not worth trying and hoping you make enough to balance out when you get caught.