The transaction, which is part of a deferred law enforcement agreement, also involves a massive accounting fraud involving Olympus, a Japanese manufacturer of optics and medical devices. According to the prosecutor, more than $1 billion in funds related to the fraud were paid by the New York office of Commerzbank as a result of failures in the fight against money laundering. Commerzbank AG, a global financial institution based in Frankfurt-on-Main, and its U.S. subsidiary, Commerzbank AG New York Branch (Commerz New York), agreed to lose $563 million, pay a $79 million fine and enter into a deferred lawsuit agreement with the Department of Justice for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Bank Secrecy Act ( BEEPA). The Bank has also entered into transaction agreements with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Ministry of Finance and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. At the hearing, the judge said the violations were „very serious,” but that a deferred policing agreement was justified by the Bank`s cooperation with the government, its thorough internal investigation and its agreement to strengthen its compliance programs. „Today`s agreement on deferral of prosecutions is an important step – internationally – that confirms our clear message to other global financial institutions,” said Chief Weber. „The work of the IRS-CI in this investigation – as well as previous sanctions cases – has led to fundamental changes in the way banks operate around the world. The IRS-CI and our partners will continue to hold financial institutions to account for international crimes. Over the 2002-2008 period, Commerzbank knowingly and deliberately moved US$263 million on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese institutions subject to US economic sanctions on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese institutions subject to US economic sanctions. Commerzbank has conducted this criminal behavior with numerous systems to hide the true nature of illegal transactions before U.S. regulators. Neither FinCEN nor any other U.S.
regulator of financial institutions has a similar system for assessing penalties for violations of the ASA. Although the DOJ has a number of general principles for enforcing companies with respect to all kinds of offences, the policy remains very flexible and permanent, not mechanical – for better or for worse. In particular, in April 2019, the DOJ issued updated guidelines for DoJ prosecutors „to determine with knowledge whether and to what extent the company`s compliance program was effective at the time of the infringement,” as well as at the time of the royalty decision, „to determine the appropriate form (1) of resolution or criminal prosecution; (2) the fine, if it exists; and (3) compliance obligations in any criminal decision of the company (for example. B monitoring or reporting obligation). This 20-part comprehensive guide, „Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” focuses on three „fundamental issues” – U.S. Department of Justice postpones prosecutions by three years, fifth, the ACF has reduced the sentence to reflect the phase in which the company and the agency reach an agreement. As the Bank paid for The Level 1 issues, it received a significant 30% discount, reducing the fine to $37,805,400. This was not Commerzbank`s first major assessment of DIE AML. In 2015, Commerzbank AG and its U.S. subsidiary entered into a law enforcement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay US$563 million and a $79 million fine for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Bank Secrecy Act („BSA”).
The ACF found that this was an aggravating factor in determining the fine for the bank.