SocGen, Israel in money laundering scam
Mon, 04 Feb 2008
Societe Generale is facing more trouble as a trial begins in Paris over a huge money laundering scam between France and Israel.
Four banks, including Societe Generale, and 138 people, including the bank's chairman Daniel Bouton, will go on trial on Monday over the multi-billion dollar scam that allegedly began in the late 1990s, according to TODAY.online.
The other banks include Societe Marseillaise de Credit, Barclays France and the National Bank of Pakistan.
This is while Societe Generale had just revealed late last month, that it had lost an amazing $7.1 billion in the biggest rogue trading scandal in history and is currently facing a takeover bid.
Claims of a money laundering network stretching between France and Israel first surfaced during an investigation into a separate fraud involving companies in the Sentier garment-making district of Paris.
Checks trafficked from France were allegedly cleared in money exchange offices or banks in Israel, where a third party can clear a check by paying a cash sum, therefore making it difficult to trace the origin of the funds. The sums were then sent back to French banks.
Among those charged in the France-Israel scam include six rabbis, a former French prosecutor and 57-year-old Bouton, along with other banking managers.
All four banks are charged with contributing to money laundering and profiting from the deals. All deny the charges.