The Bank of Ireland was deceived by an American lawyer with the objective of laundering the amount of 273 million euros from a fraud.
According to a report the money obtained from a multi-billion dollar OneCoin related scam.
According to document lodged in a New York court, the prosecutors believe a US lawyer Mark S Scott contacted BoI in 2016, where he claimed to be working on behalf of Fenero Funds, a finance broker firm.
Mark S Scott claimed that all the was raised from rich European families and Fenero Funds was looking to invest all the money in financial services and telecoms sectors. According to this filing to New York court, Mr. Scott told the Bank of Ireland (BoI) that they required its services because Fenero wanted to invest in European businesses with European money.
But according to the report, the money, in fact, was raised through a massive scam, which fraudulently convinced people to buy into a Ponzi scheme.
OneCoin was a multibillion dollar pyramid scheme. According to the US Department of Justice, the scheme was based completely on lies and deceit and the money flowing through the BoI accounts was the proceeds of this fraudulent activity.
The report also says that after being contacted by Mark S Scott, the BoI labelled the Fenero account as highly risky because of its origin from the British Virgin Islands. The bank also told Mr. Scott that he had to notify them in advance if there was any change in the funds ownership as the bank’s anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) state that it is necessary for an account holder to inform the bank if more than 10 percent of the fund’s ownership changes hand.
The US prosecutor alleged that the owner of Fenero account never disclosed the change of ownership. The Lawyer deceived the bank into believing even though it is risky, it was also highly lucrative with serious investors behind it.
The first sign of trouble with Fenero account was detected when a transaction from the account was made to another bank In United Arab Emirates(UAE). This another bank, unnamed in the document filed to New York court, contacted BoI regrading the payment, after which BoI asked Scott to provide details about the transaction. But instead of providing any information, he asked the bank to retract the transaction.
According to the document, US prosecutor also asked some of the employees from the BoI to come to the US and provide evidence in the court. However, the bank and the witness have insisted they will only give evidence from Ireland.
The BoI, in a statement on the matter, said:
In line with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and Ireland, we continue to liaise closely and co-operate with the US authorities in relation to this case. This has included the provision of relevant documentation and facilitation of extensive interviews with former and current Bank of Ireland representatives. The provision of testimony from Ireland is standard procedure in international trials.
The next is hearing is expected in the end of this year.