The Toughest Cop on Wall Street You've Never Heard Of | How Benjamin Lawsky's making big banks pay

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The Toughest Cop on Wall Street You’ve Never Heard Of | How Benjamin Lawsky’s making big banks pay

The Toughest Cop on Wall Street You’ve Never Heard Of | How Benjamin Lawsky’s making big banks pay

New Republic-

In early April, when The New York Times reported that the Justice Department would grant Credit Suisse a deferred prosecution agreement for actively aiding tax evasion, it seemed yet another bank would pay a paltry penalty for major misconduct. Credit Suisse would owe only a fine for helping rich Americans hide their wealth from taxes in Switzerland. And those wealthy clients would get off scot-free, with their Swiss bank accounts still secret.

But a funny thing happened on Credit Suisse’s way to legal impunity: a new inquiry from the relatively obscure New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). Under the direction of former federal prosecutor Benjamin Lawsky, DFS has reportedly requested documents from Credit Suisse and a Senate subcommittee investigation, seeking to learn whether Credit Suisse executives based in New York lied to state regulators about their role in creating offshore tax havens. In the current climate of financial regulation, where investigations rarely impact the individual employees who design and perpetrate misdeeds, this was a bold step—one that could force the Justice Department to toughen up. Imposing a less stringent penalty than a state regulator would humiliate the feds.

[NEW REPUBLIC]

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