- This past week, the Justice Department announced that HSBC Bank had agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion and “enter a deferred prosecution agreement” for engaging in money laundering that involved the financing of drug cartels and groups with ties to terrorism. The agreement indicated there would be no criminal prosecution. Not one bank executive or lower-level banker would be put on trial and possibly sentenced to jail for his or her role in allowing money to be transferred to drug cartels or terrorists. Meanwhile, that same day, Nima Ali Yusuf, 26, a Somali woman who fled war-torn Somalia when she was a child, was sentenced to eight years in prison for sending $1,450 to “members of a terrorist organization in her native country.” The scale of the crime committed by Yusuf, who pled guilty to charges just over a year ago in December 2011, is incredibly minor and insignificant when compared to the acts engaged in by bank executives at HSBC.
Laid out in detail in a Senate report released in July of this year, HSBC was engaged in banking with the Al Rajhi Bank, which is run by members of the Al Rajhi family alleged to have been “major donors to al Qaeda or Islamic charities suspected of funding terrorism