Bank Of America To Pay $16.6M To Settle Allegations Of Processing Drug Traffickers’ Transactions

Processing transactions for drug traffickers is a big no-no, which is why Bank of America has agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve federal allegations that it was involved in moving money around for ten traffickers over the course of four years.

The bank agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve allegations that it processed several hundred transactions for drug traffickers who are subject to U.S. sanctions, Reuters reports.

The settlement puts an end to a U.S. Treasury Department case that the bank knowingly processed transactions when there were problems with its sanctions-related systems and controls.

According to the case, Bank of America processed around $91,000 in transactions for six designated narcotics traffickers between 2005 and 2009 and failed to file timely reports on accounts owned by four other traffickers.

Officials with the Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control reported that 79 transactions the bank processed after October 2006 constituted an “egregious” case, because the bank knew of an issue, but waiting more than two years to fix it.

An official with Bank of America said on Thursday that the matter was addressed in 2009 by improving its systems.

The bank could have faced a penalty of more than $83 million, but because of the bank’s efforts to fix the problem, officials settled for a reduced amount.

Bank of America to pay $16.6 million to resolve U.S. sanctions violations [Reuters]