WASHINGTON -- American Express Bank International has agreed to pay $14 million to settle the Justice Department's charges of money laundering and bank fraud.
The deal, struck last month, stemmed from the conviction of two former American Express Bank International employees last June.
The bank must pay $7 million in civil penalties and $7 million to settle forfeiture claims. AEBI, a subsidiary of American Express Bank, also must spend at least $3 million through the end of 1995 to improve its compliance programs.
That $3 million will go toward training staff, hiring more employees, and revising compliance policies, according to Pamela Hanlon, an American Express Bank spokeswoman. The bank also agreed to hire an outside consultant to review its compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other money-laundering laws.
In addition, the company has to withdraw its claims to a $30 million client account that served as collateral for $19 million in loans.
AEBI did not admit to wrongdoing under the settlement, and is released from further liability.
Steven D. Goldstein, chief executive of American Express Bank, said that because the corporation can be held responsible for the acts of its employees, it was in the bank's best interest to settle.
"The nature and costs of this settlement serve to underscore the need for strong compliance procedures in an increasingly complex, globalized banking environment," Mr. Goldstein said in a statement. The ex-employees, Antonio Giraldi and Maria Lourdes Reategui, were convicted of laundering $6 million through the bank in 1990 and 1991.