Executive Branch

Report: Law Prof, Other Critics Complain About DOJ Approach to 'Too Big to Jail' Bank Crimes


A record settlement of $1.9 billion with HSBC that was announced earlier this month as result of a federal money-laundering probe against the United Kingdom-based bank was hailed by some as a sign that the justice system is working.

But others don’t see much benefit in the pact with a financial institution accused of laundering money for murderous drug cartels in Mexico, Iran and Libya. It is just the latest example of a “too big to jail” mindset in the executive branch that parallels the “too big to fail” approach that left taxpayers holding the bag for financial meltdown driven by big banks’ irresponsible mortgage lending, critics complain. Among them is former federal prosecutor Jimmy Gurulé, who now teaches law classes at the University of Notre Dame, the Associated Press reports in a lengthy article.

“These are actions that facilitated major international drug cartels to continue their operations,” Gurulé says. “Now, if that doesn’t justify criminal prosecution, I can’t imagine a case that would.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Are Some Banks Too Big to Indict? HSBC to Pay $1.9B in Money Laundering Probe”

ABAJournal.com: “Video: Banner Week for Financial Prosecutions; BigLaw Partners’ 2013 Predictions”

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