Scorched Earth

Listen to Today's Edition
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Two whistleblowers accused Standard Chartered, one of the United Kingdom’s largest banks, of conducting billions of dollars in undisclosed transactions for entities linked to Iran and terrorist organizations, according to a New York court filing, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

The allegations, which the bank denies, claim transactions worth $100 billion were made in violation of international sanctions.

Julian Knight, a former global head of foreign exchange at Standard Chartered, and Robert Marcellus, a currency trader, said they have uncovered hidden transactions using forensic data analysis.

Their findings are aimed at reviving a previously dismissed lawsuit against the bank. The whistleblowers’ company, Brutus Trading, provided data to US authorities in 2012 and 2013, revealing what they describe as “countless illegal transactions.”

In court documents, the whistleblowers claimed that by February 2024, they had identified $3.3 million in previously undisclosed transactional records, including 500,000 unique transactions during the period 2008 to 2013. These records allegedly include 20,000 foreign exchange transactions related to Iran, valued at $100 billion. Additionally, they isolated more than 900 Iranian-related transactions between 2008 and 2012, totaling $9.6 billion.

The transactions were conducted after Standard Chartered had announced it would cease all new business with Iranian customers in 2007. They were directed at entities subject to international sanctions, including Iranian banks and Middle Eastern money exchanges financing groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban, according to the Financial Times.

Standard Chartered rejected the allegations, describing the filing as another attempt to keep alive fabricated claims. The bank emphasized that US authorities had previously investigated and deemed the allegations meritless. Despite past sanctions on breaches leading to more than $2 billion in fines, Standard Chartered maintains it never conducted transactions for terrorist organizations.

The whistleblowers also alleged that the US government committed a “colossal fraud” on the court by failing to provide evidence to support enforcement actions against the bank.

However, government agencies argue that their case against Standard Chartered was based on unrelated evidence. In February, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the whistleblowers’ civil suit, already dismissed by a lower court.

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at hello@dailychatter.com.

Copy link