New York and British authorities announced on January 30 that they have fined banking giant Deutsche Bank $625 million over an alleged money- laundering scheme in Russia.
The regulators said the bank illegally moved $10 billion out of Russia using so-called mirror trades among the bank's Moscow, London, and New York offices in a scheme between 2011 and 2015 that is also under investigation at the U.S. Justice Department.
Deutsche Bank in agreeing to the fines conceded that "the scheme could have facilitated capital flight, tax evasion, or other potentially illegal objectives" of its Russian customers.
The scheme involved clients buying stocks in Moscow in rubles and related parties then selling the same stocks shortly afterward through the bank's London branch, the regulators said.
"By converting rubles into dollars through security trades that had no discernible economic purpose, the scheme was a means for bad actors within a financial institution to achieve improper ends," they said.
"This Russian mirror-trading scheme occurred while the bank was on clear notice of serious and widespread compliance issues dating back a decade," said New York regulatory chief Maria Vullo.