Bank of New York Mellon wired $ 137 million in funds linked to the crypto Ponzi scheme OneCoin

In February 2017,  (BNY Mellon) transferred more than $ 100 million – huge sums associated with the Ponzi OneCoin project. After detecting some suspicious signs, namely a money-laundering technique that hides the source of funds through sending multiple transactions.

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BNY Mellon has flagged several OneCoin-related money laundering transactions

The transactions – up to $ 137 million in total – come from OneCoin affiliated institutions, the bank said. Buzzfeed had received thousands of leaked suspicious activity reports (SAR) between 2011 and 2017, showing instances when a bank’s compliance team flagged a transaction they deemed unusual and could be with FinCEN.

FinCEN files are a repository of 2,657 documents showing how much dirty money is probably going through some of the largest banks in the world. Films show Deutsche Bank flagged $ 1.3 trillion, JPMorgan around $ 500 billion, and another Bank of America $ 384 billion. BNY Mellon highlighted $ 64 billion in 325 separate SARs filed with FinCEN, making it the second most frequent filer in the leaked documents.

Buzzfeed shared FinCEN files with the International Association of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), showing a particular transaction in 2016 in which Fenero Equity Investments, a company based in the British Virgin Islands, transferred approximately $ 30 million from his account at DMS Bank & Trust, Cayman-based Bank, to BNY Mellon.

Fenero describes this payment as follows:

“This a loan for CryptoReal – an investment trust set up by OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova, who has not been seen since late 2017.”

In a SAR filing submitted at the time, the BNY Mellon compliance team said:

“Fenero often received wires from shell entities linked to OneCoin. It sent the money on to Hong Kong’s DBS Bank, credited to a local company called Barta Holdings.”

Emails seized by US authorities last year show Mark Scott, a New York lawyer convicted in the previous year for laundering $ 400 million for OneCoin, arranged a $ 30 million loan from Fenero to buy oil fields allegedly from Barta Holdings. But the seized emails showed that the loan was never repaid and that the $ 10 million sent to Barta Holdings was actually spent by one of the OneCoin co-founders.

Agent Kurt Hafer stated:

“I believe that the € 30 million purported” loan “from Fenero to Barta was arranged by Scott to launder OneCoin Ltd. proceeds to CC-2 [OneCoin’s co-founder].”

A BNY Mellon spokesperson told ICIJ that the bank fully complies with applicable financial regulations and values ​​its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system.

The leaked documents show many banks ‘enabling’ money laundering

It seems FinCEN’s improved efforts to identify illegal transactions and money laundering may not be enough, some of the world’s most famous banks are still abetting the illegal behavior.

Some of the more controversial information in the SARs implies that FinCEN has taken little or no action to prevent banks from allowing money laundering from suspicious individuals and institutions under certain circumstances.

BuzzFeed News stated:

“Laws that were meant to stop financial crime have instead allowed it to flourish. So long as a bank files a notice that it may be facilitating criminal activity, it all but immunizes itself and its executives from criminal prosecution. The suspicious activity alert effectively gives them a free pass to keep moving the money and collecting the fees. ”

News of the leak comes just a week after the financial regulator announced it will make sweeping changes to the anti-money laundering (AML) rules designed to identify and combat illegal financial activity through strong recordkeeping requirements and risk assessment.

Rules are one thing; Execution is different.

BuzzFeed News states that:

“Although the financial watchdog received millions of SARs in a 17-year period from many financial institutions, it was not always able to force banks to effectively prevent money laundering .:

The networks in which dirty money travels around the world have become important arteries of the global economy. They activate a dark financial system on such a large scale and uncontrolled that it becomes inseparable from the so-called legitimate economy. The banks in the name of the household helped make that happen …

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