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BBVA under investigation for money laundering

In July 2002, it was reported that the US Department of Justice is investigating alleged money laundering by BBVA, Spain's second largest bank.

US attorneys have arrived in Madrid to question Emilio Ybarra and Pedro Luis Uriarte, the bank's former chairman and chief executive respectively, who resigned in December 2001 amid a scandal over secret offshore accounts.

The US probe centres on BBVA's activities in Puerto Rico, where it has an offshore subsidiary.

A copy of the letter, obtained by the Financial Times, says former BBVA employees in Puerto Rico interviewed by US prosecutors alleged that "BBVA did not comply with US banking laws, did not place any importance on compliance, and also maintained customer accounts in false names to conceal their true identities".

The probe was triggered by the testimony of Nelson Rodriguez, a former BBVA employee in Puerto Rico, who is serving a jail sentence for embezzlement.

Financial Times  [Publication date: 16/7/2002] 'US probes alleged money laundering by BBVA' by Leslie Crawford
[ Date URL accessed: 16/9/2005 ]



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