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Danske Bank A/S pleads guilty to fraud regarding the access the US Financial System

13 December 2022

December 12, 2022, Danske Bank A/S, the largest Danish financial institution, has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $2 billion to resolve the United States’ investigation into Danske Bank fraud on US banks[1].

Earlier, it was found that Danske Bank defrauded US banks by ‘laundering’ its client’s money through US financial system: though its branch in Estonia Danske Bank had helped non-European residents (including Russian individuals and companies) to transfer large amounts of money in USD with little or no oversight in breach of AML and compliance procedures[2].

In doing so, Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, deliberately disregarded U.S. law of which it is well aware, facilitated the laundering of criminal and suspicious proceeds through the United States, and placed the U.S. financial network at risk, all in the name of its bottom line. The bank is now being held to account. For its years-long criminal conduct, today Danske Bank pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud, will forfeit over $2 billion, and will implement and maintain a revamped compliance program and AML controls. Banks and other financial institutions around the world should heed this message: If you want to use the U.S. financial system, you must play by the rules. If you don’t, we will hold you accountable.

The plea bargain of Danske Bank may be useful for individuals and legal entities that intend to move their funds and assets through non-American banks in USD, thus triggering United States financial laws and regulations.


[1] https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1557611/download.

[2]https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/danske-bank-pleads-guilty-fraud-us-banks-multi-billion-dollar-scheme-access-us.