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Lucy Edwards, a former Bank of New York vice president, and her husband Peter Berlin was accused to the biggest cases of money laundering. The couple was admitted to the United states District in Manhattan after about 18 months of investigation. Lucy Edwards and Peter berlin who is husband and wife was admit to judges that they helped a group of small but politically connected Russian banks create an elaborate money laundering scheme that moved billions of dollars out of Russia through the American bank.
They were said that since 1996 until 1999, there were more than $7billion left Russia illegally and flowed through a network of front company accounts that were set up and controlled by Lucy Edwards and Peter Berlin at Bank of New York. From there, the money was transferred to offshore accounts. The network was designed to eased the way for more than 160,000 electronic transactions to move between Russia and the United states. There are a few purposed why the designed the network, which is to evade Russia taxes on money from legitimate business transactions, to avoid Russian customs duties on imports and to “wash” the profits of outright criminal enterprises through legitimate banks.
Mr and Mrs Berlin was paid nearly $2 million for their services to conduct the illegal banking activities in the United states. Ms Edwards know the fact that activities they were doing is illegal and she also mentioned that many accounts holder used the account for illegal purposes. After the investigation, the couple was sentenced up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines on the accused of series of federal crimes. However, Bank of New York has not been accused of any wrongdoing but Ms Edwards was fired after the federal money laundering investigation. Nevertheless, still decide to investigate and deciding whether to pursue criminal charges against a bank when an officer breaks the law.
After a several court hearing, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Berlin and three companies controlled by Mr Berlin which is Benex, Bec International and Lowland was pleaded guilty to few cases, which is laundering money to promote criminal activity and defraud the Russian government, conducting unlicensed banking operations, establish an unauthorized branch of a foreign bank, operating an illegal money transmitting business, making improper payments to a bank employee, receiving illegal payments as a bank employee and laundering payments abroad, tax evasion and fraudulently helped hundreds of Russians secure bogus visas for travel to the United states which most of them be working in Russian banking industry. Besides above accused cases, Ms. Edwards also being investigate for bribery case over her superiors of the bank’s Eastern European division. They pay $500 a month to Svetlana Kudryavtse to make sure the Benex accounts were operating properly.
Ms. Edwards explained to the court regarding the accused of money laundering and other schemes, she said that she was first approached by representative of Depozitarno-Kliringovy Bank from Russia who were interested in using the Bank of New York’s office and technology to illegally move money out from Russia. Other than that, Mr Berlin opened an account on behalf of companies like Benex, Bees and Lowland and overseeing the account in Moscow. The wife, Ms Edwards on the other hand helped installed a computer software for the office of Benex to allow them moved the money electronically.
In another case, the couple opened Lowland in Jersey City to move money from Flamingo Bank through Bank of New York. The couple received $1.8 million which represented a percentage of the money moved through Benex network for the services and handlers in Moscow. The couple deposited their money in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes in Unites States. Ms. Edwards and Mr. Berlin was sentence to the maximum of 10 years in prison to which they pleaded guilty. Furthermore, they surrendered about $1 million to the authorities, which some of the money maintained in Swiss bank account.
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