Scandals: The Fall of the Patriarch

Embroiled in the B.C.C.I. furor, Clark Clifford grudgingly gives up the helm of Washington's largest bank

"There is no function of any kind on the part of B.C.C.I. I know of no present relationship. I know of no planned future relationship."

-- Clark Clifford, 1981

Those words must have long haunted the former Defense Secretary, but never more so than when he resigned under pressure last week as chairman of First American Bankshares, Washington's largest bank holding company. A decade ago regulators, relying on Clifford, permitted a group of Middle Eastern investors to acquire First American. Those purchasers, however, turned out to be alleged fronts for the notorious Bank of Credit & Commerce International, the criminal enterprise...

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