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‘The offer was too good to refuse’: A major Russian money-laundering case was settled in New York

John Cassara
23rd May 2017 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

A major money-laundering case set to go to trial last week in New York was suddenly settled three days earlier, with both the US government and the defendant, the Russian firm Prevezon Holdings, claiming victory.


"Periodically, we need the publicity that big 'impact' cases generate to heighten awareness of money-laundering methodologies, corruption, and suspect modus operandi," said Cassara, who now sits on the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Center for Sanctions and Illicit Finance.

Cassara said he didn't know the strength of the Justice Department's case against Prevezon (Firestone said he thought it would have been an "easy kill" for the government) and was "sure they weighed the pros and cons" before opting to settle.

But, Cassara said, "three times the amount that was allegedly laundered cannot be considered a win."

"According to estimates approximately $5 trillion is laundered globally every year. In comparison, what is $5.9 million?" Cassara said. "We probably recover about 1% of the money laundered globally. We have to keep things in perspective. Our efforts to combat international money laundering are failing, and this case did nothing to turn the tide."


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money-laundering, russia