HSBC, the US Justice Department, and the War on Drugs

December 11, 2012: HSBC Bank agreed to pay $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for HSBC’s violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA). According to court documents, HSBC Bank USA violated the BSA by failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to conduct appropriate due diligence on its foreign correspondent account holders.

In short, HSBC was not only complicit, but was also the bank of choice for drug cartels and terrorist organizations around the world.

Here is the famous Deferred Prosecution Agreement:

HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Holdings hereby agree and stipulate that the following information is true and accurate. HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Holdings accept and acknowledge that they are responsible for the acts of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents as set forth below. If this matter were to proceed to trial, the Department would prove beyond a reasonable doubt, by admissible evidence, the facts alleged below and set forth in the criminal Information attached to this Agreement.

From 2006 to 2010, HSBC Bank USA violated the BSA and its implementing regulations. Specifically, HSBC Bank USA ignored the money laundering risks associated with doing business with certain Mexican customers and failed to implement a BSA/AML program that was adequate to monitor suspicious transactions from Mexico.

As a result of these concurrent AML failures, at least $881 million in drug trafficking proceeds, including proceeds of drug trafficking by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and the Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia, were laundered through HSBC Bank USA without being detected.

From at least 2000 through 2006, HSBC Group knowingly and willfully engaged in conduct and practices outside the United States that caused HSBC Bank USA and other financial institutions located in the United States to process payments in violation of U.S. sanctions. To hide these transactions, HSBC Group Affiliates altered and routed payment messages in a manner that ensured that payments involving sanctioned countries and entities cleared without difficulty through HSBC Bank USA and other U.S.

They admitted to everything! …And walked away with a small fine 🙂

No conspiracy theories needed. It’s all laid out for the public to read. This admission makes the following crystal clear:

  1. White collar crime will be treated differently from other types of crime.
  2. If you are rich enough, international and domestic laws will be applied differently.
  3. The US “Justice” Department is a perfect example of the old saying “Justice can be bought”.
  4. The “War on Drugs” is a complete lie. What more proof do you need?

And for the icing on the cake:

On December 11, 2017, the US Justice Department announced its plans to dismiss all criminal charges against HSBC.

Any questions?

Thanks for reading,


Full Deferred Procecusion Agreement:

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