Westpac has agreed to a fine of $1.3bn for money laundering and aiding and abetting paedophiles. The amount is $400m more than the $900m Westpac previously believed it would have to pay and it seems to have increased by the $400m after the number of paedophile customers they admitted to increased from 12 to 262.
The Guardian reported:
Westpac has agreed to pay a record penalty of $1.3bn to settle legal action over money laundering and child exploitation allegations levelled against it by the financial intelligence agency, Austrac.
The $1.3bn figure is $400m more than the $900m the bank had previously set aside as an estimate of the penalty it would have to pay and comes after the bank said an additional 250 customers made transactions consistent with child exploitation – a dramatic increase on the 12 over which the regulator originally took action.
In a further concession to Austrac, Westpac has also agreed to additional contraventions of anti-money laundering and counter-terror finance laws, the company told the stock exchange on Thursday. (Click here to read more)
People who aid and abet the sexual abuse of children are charged with criminal offences except for bankers it seems. The fact there are no criminal charges against Westpac is scandalous and undermines the federal government’s claims they are tough on paedophiles.
Westpac issued a 93-page statement to the Australian Stock Exchange which started off as per below:
(Click here to read the full Westpac statement to the Australian Stock Exchange)
In the below ABC News video, they make the point that Westpac waited six years from when they first identified customers using the bank to help pay for child sex abuse until they decided to alert authorities. That’s six years Westpac knowingly profited from paedophiles using the bank for child sex abuse and six years of more children being abused.
I’m don’t think Westpac broke down how much of the fine was due to them aiding and abetting paedophiles but the $1.4 billion agreed fine still needs the approval of the court so maybe more details will come out later.
Westpac’s still has massive problems overseas with numerous class actions. It was reported in February 2020:
Australia’s No.2 lender Westpac Banking Corp was hit with yet another U.S. class-action lawsuit in less than a week this month, again, related to financial crime monitoring gaps identified amid a broader money laundering scandal – bringing the grand total of legal probes to more than a half-dozen.
Australia’s financial crime watchdog, Austrac, sued Westpac in November for 23 million alleged breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) laws, including payments between known child exploiters.
The latest suit, filed by investor rights law firm Bernstein Liebhard in a U.S. court, comes just days after six U.S.-based law firms announced similar class-action lawsuits against the lender.
Westpac in statements had cautioned that similar suits may follow while responding to New York-based Rosen Law Firm’s suit. (Click here to read more)
US courts are well known for awarding huge amounts so Westpac could be in a lot of trouble with their admissions in relation to the $1.3bn fine setting a benchmark.
It is worth remembering the article I published on Westpac in May 2014 titled “Westpac CEO Gail Kelly knowingly conceals fraud at the bank court documents and emails show“. Not much has changed since then.
I missed the Westpac story last week as I was busy finishing my new book “Australia’s Paedophile Protection Racket” and right on cue Westpac are busted for doing just that.
Given this article is about paedophile protection it’s worth noting that the Catholic News Agency website is reporting that Cardinal George Pell will be on a plane on Tuesday the 29th of September 2020 on his way back to Rome. Whether he will live at the Vatican again is unknown. (Click here to read more)
Pell was too sick to fly to give evidence for a second time at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse so the Royal Commission had to go to Rome but he can fly now. One can only assume the Pope doesn’t care about the Royal Commission finding Pell protected paedophiles and perjured himself under oath. And given media reports that Pell is under investigation for other child sex crimes what happens if the police charge him again? Will he come back from Rome? I think that will be the last we’ll see of Pell in Australia.
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