Feds look for links between Rabobank and drug cartels

February 4, 2015


Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating Rabobank over questions about whether the bank overlooked signs of money laundering by customers with connections to Mexican drug cartels.

For more than a year, investigators have interviewed current and former employees of Rabobank in San Luis Obispo County where statewide compliance checks occurred, an employee who asked not to be identified said.

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires banks in the United States to work with the government to detect and prevent money laundering.

But, bank officials instructed employees to ignore signs of money laundering and repatriation of cash, the employee said.

For example, in one case, a bank employee discovered a customer who was depositing large amounts of cash into a small branch located in the Imperial Valley, not far from the U.S.-Mexico border. The money was then wired to suspected cartel affiliates in Mexico.

Rabobank is already under a type of probation after an investigation by the Justice Department resulted in a $475 million penalty in 2013 for manipulation and false reporting charges. A global investigation led to criminal charges against six of the bank’s former traders.

With more than $900 billion in assets, Rabobank is a global financial services provider headquartered in the Netherlands. In 2002, Rabobank acquired several banks in California. Rabobank N.A. now has more than 120 locations throughout California.

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  1. Maxfusion says:

    Commendable, but what they should be looking at is the nexus between Ian Reece, the international managing director of Rabobank, the Clinton Foundation, and the Global Greens. There’s the real story.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  2. Rambunctious says:

    I’m not one to jump to the defense of a bank…who knows what kind of stuff Rabobank and other banks get away with. However I do know Rabobank was one of the only Banks to tell the Paulsen to pound sand back when our Government was pushing TARP down our throats. A little payback perhaps?


    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • kettle says:

      The TARP program ended with the US getting All of our money back and 10 Billion in profit.

      No one cares what Rabobank told anyone, they are only in it for your money.

      Better luck next time.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
      • Rambunctious says:

        Has anyone ever bailed you out? I contend the federal government has taken more from me than Rabobank ever has. It’s DC that has my money and yours. just sayin…

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • Rambunctious says:

          18 trillion in debt and rising every day Kettle…paid back or not we’re screwed.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. markslo70 says:

    What’s this? A bank behaving immorally? I’ll bet they’ll manage to find some way to come out of this one on top and with their books still in the black. Just like the libor scandal and just like our bailouts over here. The people be damned, right?

    (16) 16 Total Votes - 16 up - 0 down
  4. TruthFairy says:

    Interesting, while they are into making money, and actually based outside of the US do they have to inform the Feds? Wonder if they have the same standards for obtaining loans as other banks
    ? Or do they follow their own rules?

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      I checked into Rabobank when they bought out MidState Bank years ago. Their activities in the US are run through a subsidiary that is a US corporation (Rabobank, NA) which is supposed to comply with all US banking laws and regulations. In addition, international banks operating in the US are supposed to comply with most US laws (possible exception — taxes) to do business in the US and with the international banking community. They do this unless they are confident they can get away with violations because working with banks internationally is essential for the big boys.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  5. marcusaurelius says:


    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  6. NorthCountyGuy says:

    The FEDS should look at the connection between the City of Paso Robles and the Mexican Drug Cartels.

    (9) 25 Total Votes - 17 up - 8 down
    • Citizen says:

      If you know something to report, then call the FBI office in Santa Maria.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  7. Theo P. Neustic says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer company…

    (23) 37 Total Votes - 30 up - 7 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Rabobank is no worse than any large US bank and better than many in my experience. (Credit unions are usually better than all large banks.) However, this news is disappointing and I wonder if it is an isolated incident with one or two branches or if it is a result of orders coming down from higher up.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
      • Theo P. Neustic says:

        Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
        “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than
        standing armies.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.