When I see news, like yesterday's announcement, that a bank president in Kansas charged with money laundering, was among those indicted in a Federal criminal case, I am again reminded about the utter failure of current government policies regarding the war on money laundering. The case involved a Mexican cartel; why is it we only see one of these a year ?
When regulators levy civil fines & penalties upon a bank that was engaged in money laundering, and law enforcement fails to indict those greedy bankers who actually committed the crime, or who were guilt of willful blindness, they fail to deter other bankers from engaging in those offenses. Deterrence only works when individuals who might be considering criminal activity fear the consequences of those possible actions, and they are not afraid, because bank fines are the worst thing that will happen to them.
Considering that most of the world's biggest banks have been guilty of repeated money laundering, and only suffered civil fines and penalties, it is clear that their directors are not afraid of individual accountability for their sins; they do not fear prison, because nobody in the bank will be arrested and charged. It is time to change that; otherwise the United States will never be able to sufficiently suppress the rampant money laundering that poisons the financial system, and makes criminals rich.