5 Banks To Be Run By Felons

Instead of prison sentences, they get tax breaks?

breaking_news_3-150x150Today’s New York Times reports 5 big banks will plead guilty to felonies and pay billions of dollars for rigging prices of foreign currencies and fraud. The story also says a guilty plea by UBS will have a fine of $500 million. The Times begins:

For most people, pleading guilty to a felony means they will very likely land in prison, lose their job and forfeit their right to vote.

But when five of the world’s biggest banks [Barclay’s, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland] plead guilty to an array of anti-trust and fraud charges…life will go on, probably without much of a hiccup. *

The NYT writers leave out how the fines would be substantially reduced if penalties include the magic words “punitive damages.” That would allow the newly minted corporate felons to deduct those fines as a “business expense.” Here is a collateral story needing full exposure right away.

If you missed my post yesterday, I wondered why the 25 senators on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to comment on or send the full senate The No Tax Write-Off for Corporate Wrongdoing Act proposed by Senator Leahy.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. It would be a whopping coincidence that passage of the Leahy bill right now would take away hundred of millions—maybe billions—in tax breaks for these felons when they plead guilty as early as next week. Senatorial silence on the Leahy bill looks like a conspiracy to protect felons-to-be. Big banks have a huge stake in scuttling the bill or, in their worst-case scenario, having it pass after the banks plead and pay for their felonies.

If senators know this and allow the felons to get the tax breaks, the senators sure look like co-conspirators. But they do not know about the Leahy bill, they should get informed right away—and declare whether or not they support tax breaks for felons.

Consumerist Assignment for NYT: Interview members of The Senate Finance Committee regarding why they will not bring on this bill ahead of the plea to be.

* Ben Protess and Michael Corkery, 5 Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, New York Times Business Day, May 14, 2015, pages B1, 6.




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