DOJ used double standard in lenient settlement with HSBC compared to ‘hammering' of Mexican banks
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Soft US treatment of UK’s HSBC differs sharply from indictment of 3 big Mexican banks in ‘Operation Casablanca’
In era of terrorist funding worries, US gave HSBC, which had strong Iran ties, a ‘too big to jail’ card, but pushed Mexican banks to guilty plea
The US government's lenient treatment of HSBC for its 10-year crime binge involving thousands of prohibited transactions with Iranian institutions and murderous Mexican drug cartels has caused an outcry in many quarters, including entities that usually disagree vigorously, like the New York Times and Fox News.
What may add fuel to the fire is to recall how the lenient United States global settlement with the huge UK-based institution differs so dramatically from the hammering the same US agencies, including the Department of Justice, inflicted on three Mexican banks in 1998.
In June that year, a case called “Operation Casablanca” erupted into public view after a 30-month US Customs Service undercover operation in Los Angeles. The undertaking targeted Mexican banks and bankers. It used only disguised government money and no real criminal proceeds in the undercover transactions. The total "laundered" reached a low eight-figure sum.