The chairman of the House Banking Committee asked the Comptroller of the Currency on Friday to detail how the government monitored transactions of the Bank of Boston, which has pleaded guilty to violating a law designed to stop money laundering.
Meanwhile, it was learned that Senate investigators, who are being dispatched to investigate the case, examined accounts of a Bank of Boston subsidiary earlier while compiling a report on international drug-money laundering.
The Bank of Boston last week was fined a record $500,000 after pleading guilty to the felony charge of failing to report $1.2 billion in cash transactions with nine foreign banks.
According to a report in Friday’s Boston Globe, two of the transactions involved companies controlled by Gennaro Angiulo, reputed head of organized crime in Boston, and his brothers. Angiulo and his brothers are scheduled for trial on federal racketeering charges next month.
Under federal law, banks are required to report all cash transactions of more than $10,000 to the federal government, unless the customers have been specifically exempted by the bank.
The bank declined to comment on the report but said neither organized crime nor money laundering was involved in the transactions.
Sen. William Roth (R-Del.), chairman of the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, said his panel would investigate the Bank of Boston and planned hearings in the spring.
A subcommittee source, who spoke on the condition that his name not be used, said the panel looked at some Bank of Boston transactions earlier during its inquiry into the use of foreign banks to launder drug money. But the panel never tied the bank directly with the drug trade, he said.
Rep. Fernand St Germain (D-R.I.), chairman of the House Banking Committee, on Friday asked Comptroller of the Currency C. T. Conover for information on the bank’s compliance with currency transactions rules.