WND series prompted authorities, Senate report confirms massive fraud
U.S. senators digest a sharply critical committee report confirming massive
international money laundering by global banking giant HSBC, the Internal
Revenue Service is acknowledging receipt of a whistleblower claim from a former
employee of the bank who presented
1,000 pages of evidence to WND six months ago, after local and federal
authorities ignored him.
of WND stories, beginning in February, reported the evidence collected by
John Cruz, a former vice president and relationship manager for HSBC in New York
who documented hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious transactions he
pulled from a bank computer system before he was fired. Cruz was terminated in
2010, after two years at HSBC, for “poor performance,” but he contends he was
let go because senior management didn’t want to him to pursue his personal
a letter to Cruz, the supervisor of the IRS whistleblower office in Ogden, Utah,
acknowledged the agency is evaluating Cruz’s claim to determine whether an
investigation is warranted. Cruz previously told WND he met with special agents
with the IRS criminal division in April and handed over a computer disc with
copies of his internal documents.
agents, according to Cruz, were overwhelmed with the volume and detail of the
information, calling it “mind-boggling.”
report released last week presents evidence HSBC abetted massive money
laundering by Iran, terrorist organizations, drug cartels and organized
criminals throughout the world. The report said HSBC transferred $19 billion for
Iran and $7 billion in physical cash for Mexico.
recently reported an officer in HSBC’s compliance operations in Delaware who
questioned transactions he suspected were linked to Hamas was berated and
of the largest banks in the world, London-based HSBC has about 7,500 offices in
more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, North and South America, the
Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
reported, law enforcement authorities sat on the HSBC money-laundering
allegations, even denying they were handed the same information by a
whistleblower, until the story was exposed by WND.
also reported evidence that Eric Holder’s Justice Department has not
investigated money laundering charges in deference to bank clients of
Washington-based law firm Covington & Burling, where Holder was a partner
prior to joining the Obama administration.
February, when WND asked HSBC to respond to the money laundering allegations,
the bank issued a statement insisting it was cooperating with authorities.
support efforts to protect the integrity of the financial system, and our
commitment to AML (anti-money laundering) includes rigorous internal processes
and a close working partnership with regulators and law enforcement,” the
a video interview with WND, Cruz detailed how he turned over his information on
HSBC to authorities more than two years ago to Frank J. DiGregorio, a detective
sergeant in the office of the Queens County District Attorney, and Graham R.
Klein, special agent at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
previously told WND he handed over his evidence at a meeting in April to Special
Agent David Wagner and supervisory Special Agent Kevin B. Sophia with the
Department of Treasury’s IRS criminal investigation division.
the evidence handed over was about 19 to 20 hours of recorded discussions with
HSBC employees concerning his allegations.
told me that if the information on the computer disk and in the audio files was
as I represented, the IRS agents were talking about arresting HSBC bank
employees,” Cruz said.
has expressed his frustration with federal law enforcement.
a circle,” Cruz explained in a previous interview. “I turn over the information
to law enforcement, and law enforcement turns around and gives the information
right back to the bank for the bank to conduct their own internal
‘a criminal organization’
his position as a vice president and a senior account relationship manager in
New York, Cruz worked in a region that accounts for approximately 50 percent of
HSBC’s North American revenue. He was assigned to work with several branch
managers to identify accounts for which HSBC might introduce additional banking
told WND he recorded hundreds of hours of meetings he conducted with HSBC
management and bank security personnel during which he charged various bank
managers were engaging in criminal acts.
have hours of hours of recordings, ranging from bank tellers, to business
representatives, to branch managers, to executives,” he said. “The whole system
is designed to be a culture of fraud to make it look like it’s a legal system.
But it’s not.”
explained that after many repeated efforts, he gave up on the idea that HSBC
senior management or bank security would pursue his allegations to investigate
and stop the wrongdoing.
conclusion was that HSBC was not going to do anything about this account because
HSBC management from the branch level, to senior bank security, to executive
senior management was involved in the illegal activity I found,” he said.
repeated attempts to bring the information to the attention of law enforcement
officers, Cruz hit a brick wall until WND examined his documentation and
determined his allegations were sufficiently substantiated to merit
is a criminal organization,” he stressed. “It is a culture of crime.”