INVESTIGATIONS: Wringing Out a Money Laundry

Wringing Out a Money Laundry

Colombia's Banco de Occidente has no U.S. branches, but its Panamanian subsidiary did a booming underground business in America. The Panama bank is expected to plead guilty in Atlanta federal court this week to charges that it laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits for Colombia's Medellin cocaine cartel. The bank allegedly collected the illicit money in New York bank accounts, from which money was wired electronically to Europe and Latin America.

As part of the plea agreement, the Panamanian bank could pay a $5 million fine, giving up most of its $6.7 million net worth. The fine would...

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