Banking giant accused of laundering billions
Feb. 1, 2012: WND broke open the explosive HSBC money-laundering case when a former employee of HSBC in New York had 1,000 pages of customer account records he claimed were evidence of an international money-laundering scheme involving hundreds of billions of dollars by the global banking giant, which was under investigation by a U.S. Senate committee.
Whistleblower John Cruz delivered to WND customer account records he said he pulled from the HSBC computer system before he was fired. Customer records and secret audio recordings brought to WND showed HSBC employees in Long Island were stealing the Social Security numbers of former bank depositors to create bogus “pass-through” accounts used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars for criminal enterprises such as Mexican drug cartels and Islamic terrorists.
Cruz was terminated Feb. 17, 2010, after two years at HSBC for “poor performance,” but he said he was let go because senior management didn’t want to him to pursue his personal investigation.
HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman issued a statement to WND, which stated:
“We support efforts to protect the integrity of the financial system, and our commitment to AML (anti-money laundering) includes rigorous internal processes and a close working partnership with regulators and law enforcement,” the statement said.
One of the largest banks in the world, London-based HSBC has about 7,500 offices in more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, North and South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
In his position as an account relationship manager, Cruz worked in the HSBC southern New York region, which accounts for about 50 percent of HSBC’s North American revenue. He was assigned to work with several branch managers to identify accounts in which HSBC might introduce additional banking services.
Cruz told WND he had “firsthand knowledge and proof of how HSBC transferred billions of dollars through accounts linked to companies that did not exist.”
“I had poor job performance because the portfolio of HSBC accounts I was given to work ended up being 90 percent fictitious and fraudulent accounts,” he said. “How could I expand HSBC bank relations with fraudulent accounts that were created to be used for illegal money laundering?”
After the HSBC currency traders were arrested, WND conducted an investigation of the bank’s connections to the Clinton Foundation, uncovering a massive offshore financial network involving tens of thousands of transactions that extend far beyond HSBC.
Flash! America gets busted!
Feb. 1, 2004: As if Super Bowls needed more exposure, the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII provided millions of viewers with a clear shot of singer Janet Jackson’s breast at the end of her performance with Justin Timberlake.
While Timberlake called the incident a “wardrobe malfunction,” Jackson admitted the stunt had been planned.
“I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention,” she said. “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. … It was not my intention that it go as far as it did.”FCC Chairman Michael Powell said he was outraged, explaining, “Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents and citizens deserve better.”
“We love stunts at our agency, and she opened the door for more people to take risks,” said James LaForce, partner in the New York public relations agency LaForce & Stevens.