REPORT | TOO BIG TO JAIL: INSIDE THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION NOT TO HOLD WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE

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REPORT | TOO BIG TO JAIL: INSIDE THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION NOT TO HOLD WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE

REPORT | TOO BIG TO JAIL:  INSIDE THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION NOT TO HOLD WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE

TOO BIG TO JAIL:
INSIDE THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION
NOT TO HOLD WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE

REPORT PREPARED BY THE REPUBLICAN STAFF OF THE
COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

HON. JEB HENSARLING, CHAIRMAN
114TH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION

JULY 11, 2016

 
Executive Summary

In March 2013, the Committee on Financial Services (Committee) initiated a
review of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) decision not to prosecute HSBC
Holdings Plc. and HSBC Bank USA N.A. (together with its affiliates, HSBC) or any
of its executives or employees for serious violations of U.S. anti-money laundering
(AML) and sanctions laws and related offenses. The Committee’s efforts to obtain
relevant documents from DOJ and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury)
were met with non-compliance, necessitating the issuance of subpoenas to both
agencies. Approximately three years after its initial inquiries, the Committee
finally obtained copies of internal Treasury records showing that DOJ has not been
forthright with Congress or the American people concerning its decision to decline
to prosecute HSBC. Specifically, these documents show that:

  • Senior DOJ leadership, including Attorney General Holder, overruled an
    internal recommendation by DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering
    Section to prosecute HSBC because of DOJ leadership’s concern that
    prosecuting the bank would have serious adverse consequences on the
    financial system.
  • Notwithstanding Attorney General Holder’s personal demand that HSBC
    agree to DOJ’s “take-it-or-leave-it” deferred prosecution agreement deal by
    November 14, 2012, HSBC appears to have successfully negotiated with DOJ
    for significant alterations to the DPA’s terms in the weeks following the
    Attorney General’s deadline.
  • DOJ and federal financial regulators were rushing at what one Treasury
    official described as “alarming speed” to complete their investigations and
    enforcement actions involving HSBC in order to beat the New York
    Department of Financial Services.
  • In its haste to complete its enforcement action against HSBC, DOJ
    transmitted settlement numbers to HSBC before consulting with Treasury’s
    Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) to ensure that the settlement amount
    accurately reflected the full degree of HSBC’s sanctions violations.
  • The involvement of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority in the
    U.S. government’s investigations and enforcement actions relating to HSBC,
    a British-domiciled institution, appears to have hampered the U.S.
    government’s investigations and influenced DOJ’s decision not to prosecute
    HSBC.
  • Attorney General Holder misled Congress concerning DOJ’s reasons for not
    bringing a criminal prosecution against HSBC.
    ? DOJ to date has failed to produce any records pertaining to its prosecutorial
    decision making with respect to HSBC or any large financial institution,
    notwithstanding the Committee’s multiple requests for this information and
    a congressional subpoena requiring Attorney General Lynch to timely
    produce these records to the Committee.
  • Attorney General Lynch and Secretary Lew remain in default on their legal
    obligation to produce the subpoenaed records to the Committee.
  • DOJ’s and Treasury’s longstanding efforts to impede the Committee’s
    investigation may constitute contempt and obstruction of Congress.
    The Committee is releasing this report to shed light on whether DOJ is
    making prosecutorial decisions based on the size of financial institutions and DOJ’s
    belief that such prosecutions could negatively impact the economy.

[…]

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2 Responses to “REPORT | TOO BIG TO JAIL: INSIDE THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION NOT TO HOLD WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE”

  1. Charles Reed says:

    Look in the dictionary for conflict interest and you will see Eric Holder with a MERS promotional banner across his chest. But when you can led the sheep to believe the white man was stopping the vote as President Obama won by 5 million votes. Black lost homes to the firms Holder is back representing them at Covington & Burling instead of over at Justice where 6 1/2yrs and no prosecutions of the banks!

  2. I think we all need to complain to our senators. But they may all need hearing AIDS cause I think they are DEAF.

    As the voice of the people is not being heard, when a trail of injustice and lies is put before the Court and they do nothing and reward the BANKSTERS for there FRAUD upon the people, we need changes.

    I guess our great nation wants us all to be a group of renters and not owners!

    Mark Freedman

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