BNP pleads guilty, to pay $8.8 bln fine

After months of heated negotiations, state and federal authorities on Monday announced a criminal case against BNP Paribas, taking aim at France’s biggest bank for transferring billions of dollars on behalf of Sudan and other countries blacklisted by the United States.
BNP agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay an $8.9 billion penalty, a record sum for a bank accused of doing business with countries that face United States sanctions. State and federal authorities portrayed BNP, the seventh bank to settle a criminal sanctions violation case but the first to plead guilty, as the worst offender.
Like other banks, BNP hid the names of Sudanese and Iranian clients when sending transactions through its New York operations and the broader American financial system. But the wrongdoing was more pervasive at BNP, the authorities found, stretching from at least 2002 into 2012, by which time the investigation was already in full swing.
“This conspiracy was known and condoned at the highest levels of BNP,” Edward Starishevsky