Wachovia regularly helped move money for Mexican drug cartels, the bank's parent, Wells Fargo, has admitted in a deal with federal prosecutors, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August issue
The deal, struck in March, "sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years," Bloomberg writes.
Wachovia, which San Francisco-based Wells Fargo bought in 2008 amid the financial crisis, admitted it "didn't do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That's the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history -- a sum equal to one-third of Mexico's current gross domestic product," according to Bloomberg.
"Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international c
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