In August, news breaks that the Bank of New York (BNY) is involved in a scandal that could be the biggest money-laundering scheme in U.S. history, with billions of dollars coming in to the bank from Russia over the past year. According to investigators, the bank accounts belong to Semion Mogilevich.
On August 19, the New York Times reported that “some $4.2 billion passed through one account in the period from October 1998 to March 1999 in more than 10,000 separate transactions. Because the account has remained open throughout the current financial year, it is believed the total amount could exceed $10 billion.”
Some of the money is believed to have been transferred to contract killers and drug lords in the United States.
It should be no surprise that Mogilevich would be tied to the accounts; his illegally controlled Inkombank was BNY’s largest commercial partner before it was shut down the previous year.
The investigations also found that BNY had an agreement with Inkombank to charge them six times the standard rate for a wire transfer. BNY profited $720 million from their wire transfer fees on Inkombank in just one quarter of 1995. Their total profits from the partnership are unknown.