This week’s conviction of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman heralds a major victory in raising awareness of the pure evil involved in Mexican drug smuggling through our porous borders.
From sexually abusing 13-year-old girls as “vitamins” to boost his libido to employing a hitman who used a tiled “kill room” made inside a house in border-city Juarez, the trial demonstrated the obvious dangers of sharing an open border with a country burdened by near-complete lawlessness.
In El Chapo’s trial, a witness alleged that the corruption of Mexican government officials reached up to the President of Mexico at the time, Enrique Pina Nieto, who allegedly received $100 million in bribes from the cartel.
Left out of El Chapo’s trial was the cartel’s financial connections to key law enforcement players inside the Obama administration.
In 2012, the Justice Department accused the El Chapo-led Sinaloa Cartel of moving over $7 billion through HSBC bank locations inside Mexico. The bank’s Mexican locations allowed huge cash deposits (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single transaction), which were then accessible to the cartel at HSBC bank locations inside the United States.
Despite playing a key role in establishing the cartels inside the US, the DOJ gave HSBC a slap on the wrist–a deferred prosecution agreement–under which the bank would not be prosecuted for laundering billions of dollars in cash for the Sinaloa Cartel, as long as the bank rehabilitated its practices and stayed out of trouble for five years.
Overruling career prosecutors– who wanted to prosecute the bank–US Attorney Loretta Lynch and Attorney General Eric Holder let the bank off the hook with a $1.9 billion “record fine,” which made up a small fraction of one year’s profits.
Holder’s reasoning for letting the bank off the hook–along with its employees and directors–was that the bank was too big to fail.
It is unknown whether then-FBI Director Robert Mueller aggressively investigated the executives and employees involved. Given the lack of convictions, and his failure to speak out against the agreement, it’s unlikely that Mueller engaged in any pre-dawn raids or SWAT-style arrests.
Ironically, Jerome Corsi, one of Mueller’s current perjury-trap targets, was one of the journalists who exposed the HSBC scandal in 2012.
A month after the deferred prosecution agreement was finalized, future FBI Director James Comey took a 97% pay cut from his job as general counsel at Bridgewater Associates hedge fund to join Britain-based HSBC as director of the money laundering vulnerabilities sector. The move reduced his jaw-dropping income from $6,632,616 per year to under $200,000, per financial disclosures.
With former Deputy Attorney General Comey at the helm of the troubled bank’s money laundering compliance efforts, HSBC could reassure its investors that the troubles in 2012 were over. However, Comey apparently missed the Russian money laundering that was taking place while he oversaw the vulnerabilities sector.
Less than six months after Comey took the HSBC job, President Obama nominated him to replace Robert Mueller as FBI Director. In 2014, Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General.
HSBC clients donated $81 million to the Clinton Foundation.