Feds seize $1 billion in offshore money for bank accounts
The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday announced that it had seized more than $1.1 billion from banks in more than 30 countries.
The seizure includes nearly $1 million from U.K. bank Barclays and $851,000 from Switzerland-based Credit Suisse, the department said in a news release.
The move is part of a broader effort to crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing, as the Justice Department ramps up enforcement of its crackdown on money launderers, tax evaders and money laundered funds.
The agency is also targeting individuals who facilitate money laundering, tax evasion and money laundering through the offshore system.
U. S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New York said in the release that the seizure “has resulted in the recovery of billions of dollars of laundered cash.”
Bank accounts in the U.Y.C.S., which is located in the British Virgin Islands, and Switzerland-owned HSBC Holdings Plc are among those the Justice Dept. seized.
The department said it had targeted individuals and organizations through various financial crimes including wire fraud, money laundering of proceeds of crime, money transmitting through trust funds and illegal tax evasion.
Bank of America Corp. is the largest U.N.-sanctioned bank in the world, with operations in almost every country in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Bank officials and lawyers said in an emailed statement that they are confident that the government will be vindicated.
The bank is not aware of any criminal activity or the nature of any investigations at this time, the statement said.
The statement did not mention any of the banks that the U,S.
has been pursuing in the past.
The Justice Department did not disclose details about the countries where the funds were seized.
Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Miami contributed to this report.