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Senator asks why bankers aren’t jailed

This news story was published on March 10, 2013.
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WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said she would like to know why more money-laundering bankers do not spend time in jail.

“If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, chances are good you’re going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life,” Warren said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

“But evidently, if you launder nearly $1 billion for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed,” Warren said.

The comment was made in reference to HSBC, which paid $1.92 billion in fines for money laundering on behalf of drug cartels and terrorists organizations, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The bank admitted it had shuffled money around for illegal organizations but nobody went to jail.

The bank “did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And they were caught doing it, warned not to do it and kept right on doing it and evidently making a profit doing it,” Warren said.

“How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?” she asked.

Her comments came a few days after Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said bank regulators “are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy.”

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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12 Responses to Senator asks why bankers aren’t jailed

  1. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I wonder what happened to the 1.9 billion that HSBC paid in fines… This is just another reason why I belong to a local credit union. Imagine what would happen to them if they had done this and got caught. Oh please, threaten me some more with a negative impact on the economy.

  2. Avatar

    blog Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I think we should start cutting off and throwing in jail the thousands that are lying and steeling from the entitlement programs. The same as the bankers this is money out of my pocket and the coffers for the people that really need it . Unfortunately to the far right democrats this is ok due to such a twisted attitude that they are due a good life paid for by those who work when too many are just to lazy to earn their own way. 2012 welfare fraud statistics were between 9 and 13.5 billion. Stealing is just that at any level. Also excellent response Katie. Drug addiction knows no division in economic class.

  3. Avatar

    Bobby G Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    How about all the federal workers that owe billions in back taxes.

  4. Avatar

    Pee Wee Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I want to know why Senators are not in jail.

  5. Avatar

    another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2013 at 4:03 am

    The drug war is a war on the poor silly.

    • Avatar

      Katie Reply Report comment

      March 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      And why do you think that is, b4b? They are poor because they use drugs, causing lack of motivation, no money for anything else, a drain on society, and lowered intelligence. It’s a war on poor choices, not the poor. There are plenty of rich people who have ruined their lives with drugs. Think of all the rich celebrities who have died young because of drugs…… Poor choices. Period. Not poor.

      • Avatar

        sickastupd Reply Report comment

        March 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        You missed the point, Katie. The bankers’ crimes are so much more egregious, so much more harmful than possessing an ounce of cocaine, yet they are given raises and pats on the back instead of jail time. The reason? Because we aren’t waging war on the greedy, we’re waging war on the less fortunate.

      • Avatar

        seriously? Reply Report comment

        March 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Really, a war on poor choices? Who died and made you God. Cigarettes kill more people than all drugs combined and I don’t see you calling for prohibition of nicotine. Freaking moron.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        March 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm

        @Sicka-once more we agree on something. The fat cat bankers have ruined thousands of lives and walked away free. However, I do not think it is a war on the poor as much as it is apathy towards them. They just don’t seem to matter to the politicians or the rich. That is not to minimize the damage done by drugs at all. Drugs also cost millions of dollars each year and dumb down the people that use them.

      • Avatar

        Katie Reply Report comment

        March 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

        @ Seriously: The article talked about drugs, not nicotine or alcohol, which are legal.

        @ Sicka: I don’t disagree about what the bankers did and that they should be punished. There are two entitled classes in this country: The poor and the rich. That’s the way it works and we had better get used to it. We in the middle will get it from both ends until we no longer exist.

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        seriously? Reply Report comment

        March 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

        Is this simply a legal issue with you Katie? For instance if cocaine, heroin and meth were legal you’d be OK with it right? This is just a legal issue for you and not a drug issue, right?

    • Avatar

      another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Alcohol and nicotine are not drug that kill people?