Thursday, June 15, 2017


Watergate Office Building
 A word to the wise. As a young associate. at a Miami law firm, in the early 1970s, I well remember receiving a call from a lawyer, who identified himself as working with "The Watergate." he was seeking information on customer accounts at what was then Republic National Bank of Miami, a client of the firm. The bank's clients included many Cuban-Americans.

Apparently, when arrested, the Watergate burglars had, in their possession, crisp US $100 bills that were traced back to the bank, and further investigation turned up checks, from Mexico, that were deposited in Bernard Barker's account at the bank ; The rest is history. I was in Washington when President Nixon resigned, on my way to my sister's wedding, and I well remember that day. I also remember the crude attempt to launder money through the bank.

Now, reports from the most well-respected US print media are alleging that the Special Counsel's Office is investigating possible money laundering, on the part of certain associates of President Trump. The focus is upon whether any Trump associates received any funds from Russian sources, for "services rendered," and whether they may have then moved those illicit funds through offshore financial centers, to conceal such payoffs.

If you are a compliance officer at a US financial institution, and your client base includes any individuals, or corporate entities, that might possibly be linked to those associates, their families, or companies, it would be prudent to be alert for any suspicious transactions. Otherwise, you might just be the individual, a year or two hence, on the receiving end of such as telephone call; history repeating itself.

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