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Riggs Bank Pays $16 Million For Deals With Pinochet

HeadlineJan 28, 2005

On Thursday Riggs Bank agreed to pay a $16 million fine after it admitted that it helped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet hide millions of dollars. Pinochet oversaw the killing of over 3,000 Chileans following 1973 when he seized power in a U.S.-backed coup. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein announced the settlement Thursday. He said, “Despite this notoriety, Riggs officials willingly conducted business with Pinochet and allowed him over time to deposit over 10 million dollars into Riggs. An amount far in excess of Pinochet’s stated wealth. Riggs did not simply stand by and allow 10 million dollars to flow in and out of the Pinochet accounts. Rather, Riggs officials affirmatively helped Pinochet conduct numerous highly suspicious transactions, many of which were carried out at a time that he was under house arrest in Chile.” Riggs Bank has close connections to the Bush administration. President Bush’s uncle Jonathan Bush, became CEO of the bank’s investment arm in 2000.

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