Home Banking Two charged in suspect $1 billion transfer using N.Y. credit union

Two charged in suspect $1 billion transfer using N.Y. credit union

40
0

Two people were charged with using a New York state employees credit union to process more than $1 billion in suspect financial transactions while failing to file suspicious activity reports or maintain adequate anti-money-laundering controls.

Gyanendra Asre, 53, and Hanan Ofer, 67, persuaded the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union to let them process the transactions, saying they had expertise in anti-money-laundering measures, according to federal prosecutors. Both were 25% equity owners of the credit union at the time and had a history of working in compliance at U.S. financial institutions, according to the indictment. The credit union wasn’t charged.

The defendants “devised a scheme to bring lucrative and high-risk, international financial business lines to small, unsophisticated financial institutions,” according to the indictment. They “then caused the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from high-risk foreign jurisdictions” through the credit union without putting proper anti-money-laundering protections in place, the U.S. alleges.

The indictment, which cites Mexico as a key jurisdiction for the transactions, stops short of accusing the two of knowingly laundering money. But it alleges the transactions they processed—which included accepting hundreds of millions of dollars in bulk U.S. dollar deposits from a Mexican bank and then wiring the funds to that bank’s U.S. accounts—had red flags that should have prompted them to report the transactions to U.S. authorities and demand more information about them.

A lawyer for Ofer, of New York City, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Asre, of Greenwich, Connecticut, declined to comment.

The case is a joint prosecution of the U.S. Justice Department’s anti-money-laundering unit in Washington and prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, New York.

The case is U.S. v. Asre, 21-cr-00174, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).