Barclays Bank PLC yesterday agreed to pay $298 million to settle criminal charges for allegedly facilitating financial transactions with banks in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma, although these countries were under economic and trade sanctions by the US government.
According to court charges bought on by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), from March 1995 to September 2006 Barclays branch in New York carried out about $500 million in illegal payments coming from sanctioned countries.
The bank was accused of breaking the `Trading with the Enemy Act' and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Barclays followed instructions from banks in sanctioned countries of removing traces of origin of the money transfers and channelled the money through the US financial system.
The London-based bank and the DOJ yesterday entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for two years and Barclays will pay $298 million to settle the criminal charges. The federal government and the district attorney of the County of New York will receive $149 million each.
As part of the agreement, Barclays will train all employees on policy regarding the US, United Nations and European Union sanction for processing or investigation of US dollar payments and securities trading orders by 6 April 2011.
The agreement will have to be approved by a federal judge.