As I read the story in the Centre Daily Times on Thursday about the massive fine for HSBC bank for money laundering, I could not help but wonder about the lack of other punishment for these crimes.
The article mentioned the fines, penalties and forfeitures but no mention is made of any actual individual involved in these crimes.
Apparently, the bank violated the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act. It seems that under the deferred prosecution arrangement the bank cooperates with the authorities and admits to misconduct but the details are not made public.
Did this company make these decisions involving very large sums of money without being aware of the illegal origins of these funds? Who was responsible for making these decisions, committing these crimes? Why is no one being prosecuted for this?
If a local fencing operation was broken up for selling stolen property, individuals would be arrested.
Many people today lack faith in our justice system because of inequalities involved in prosecution and punishment. The lack of any individuals being charged in these crimes contributes to these beliefs, justifiably.
Criminals should be charged, tried and convicted, regardless of where they plan their crimes a safe house or a corporate boardroom.
Our justice system will continue to be disrespected until it is dispensed equitably.
Micah Barbash State College