Money Laundering and Foreign Corruption: Enforcement and Effectiveness of the Patriot Act: Case Study Involving Riggs Bank: Report Prepared by the Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Governmental Affairs, Released in Conjunction with the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' Hearing on July 15, 2004   [open pdf - 617KB]

"From 1999 to 2001, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, at the request of Senator Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member, conducted a detailed investigation into money laundering activities in the U.S. financial services sector, including in-depth examinations of money laundering activities in private banking, correspondent banking, and the securities industry. Two Minority staff reports were issued, and Subcommittee hearings were held in November 1999 and March 2001. This investigative work provided the foundation for many of the anti-money laundering provisions in Title III of the USA Patriot Act enacted in October 2001. Among other key provisions, the Patriot Act obligated U.S. financial institutions to exercise due diligence when opening and administering accounts for foreign political figures, and deemed corrupt acts by foreign officials as an allowable basis for U.S. money laundering prosecutions. In 2003, again at Senator Levin's request, the Subcommittee initiated a followup investigation to evaluate the enforcement and effectiveness of key anti-money laundering provisions in the Patriot Act, using Riggs Bank as a case history. The information in this Minority Staff Report is based upon the ensuing joint investigation by the Subcommittee's Democratic and Republican staffs."

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