Federal authorities are investigating JPMorgan, Bank of America and other big U.S. financial institutions for potential non-compliance with federal money laundering laws, according to a report from the New York Times.
The Times reports the investigation is being led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in conjuncture with the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney's office. JPMorgan is the biggest bank being looked at, and the Times says the focus on the bank stems from last year's $88.3 million settlement over transactions with Cuba and Iran that violated U.S. trade sanctions. No one has commented on the exact scope and size of the investigation, but Reuters reports officials are paying close attention to potentially illegal transactions made in Venezuela. The investigation focuses on whether the banks are complying with the regulations of 2008's Bank Secrecy Act. Whether or not the banks were meeting the bill's guidelines got relegated to the backseat once the financial crisis hit. Now that regulators have more time to focus on money laundering laws again, it could lead to one of the biggest crackdowns on money laundering in decades.