Standard Chartered Faces Accusations of Facilitating Iran Funding and Terrorist Support

Standard Chartered Faces Accusations of Facilitating Iran Funding and Terrorist Support
credit: cnbc

London (Parliament News) – Whistleblowers allege Standard Chartered processed billions in illegal transactions for Iran-linked entities and terrorist groups. They claim forensic data analysis uncovered hidden transactions, prompting a motion to revive their case in court.

Whistleblowers have asserted Standard Chartered allegedly processed billions of dollars of previously undetected transactions for Iran-linked entities and terrorist associations, according to a New York court filing.

Who are the whistleblowers behind the allegations against Standard Chartered?

Two whistleblowers, who include a former director at the British bank, filed a motion to put aside a judgment that overlooked an earlier lawsuit they filed, in an endeavour to revive their efforts. The two men, who operate Brutus Trading, which was formed to follow their claim, stated in court papers that their case should be reinstated after they operated forensic data analysis to “decloak” information “concealed deep in the bank’s electronic spreadsheets”.

The data was delivered by Brutus to US authorities in 2012 and 2013 and the whistleblowers argue it shows “countless illegal transactions” by the bank. 

The whistleblowers – Julian Knight, an ex-global head of foreign exchange transaction banking who quit Standard Chartered in 2011, and Robert Marcellus, a currency trader – were supported by the forensic detective David Scantling, who began investigating the data, and worked together to show “transactions that were hidden”, the court documents claim. By February 2024, the men alleged they contained “identified over 3.3m previously unknown transactional records, of which 500,000 recorded unique transactions spanning from 2008 to 2013”.

What evidence prompted the whistleblowers to revive their case?

The court documents stated that the data revealed 20,000 foreign exchange transactions related to Iran that took lodging between 2008 and 2013 and had an incremental notional value of $100bn (£78bn).

How did forensic data analysis reveal hidden transactions?

“The decloaked … data shows that – long after the bank supposedly discontinued its Iranian operations in 2007 – SCB [Standard Chartered Bank] facilitated many billions of dollars in banking transactions for Iran, numerous international terror groups and the front companies for those groups,” the court papers pointed by the two whistleblowers to New York’s southern district bench last week allege.

In a statement by Scantling lodged with the court, the investigator says that as well as identifying 3.3m previously unknown transactional records, he had “further unaccompanied 906 Iranian-related transactions” between January 2008 and March 2012 which tallied $9.6bn and involved “entities and people subject to international sanctions”.

Did the US government withhold evidence in the enforcement motion?

He declared the newly extracted data included multiple Standard Chartered transactions “with and on behalf of Iranian banks, Iranian firms and Middle Eastern money exchanges” that according to the US government, “finance specified foreign terrorist organisations” such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban.

The two whistleblowers also allege that the US government executed a “colossal fraud” on the court when it failed to deliver evidence to help enforcement motion against the bank for violating global sanctions.

How does Standard Chartered respond to the allegations?

Standard Chartered stated in a statement: “This filing is another endeavour to use fabricated claims against the bank, following previous unsuccessful attempts. “The false allegations underpinning it have been totally discredited by the US authorities who undertook a comprehensive investigation into the claims and said they were ‘meritless’ and did not show any violations of US sanctions. We are confident the courts will reject these claims, as they have already done repeatedly.”

Federica Calabrò

Federica Calabrò is a journalist at Parliament News, She is covering Business and General World News. She is a native of Naples, commenced her career as a teller at Poste Italiane before following her passion for dance. Graduating in classical dance, she showcased her talents with two entertainment companies, enchanting audiences throughout Italy. Presently, Federica serves as the general secretary at the Allianz Bank Financial Advisors financial promotion center in Naples. In this capacity, she manages office forms, provides document assistance for Financial Advisors, oversees paperwork for the back office, and ensures smooth customer reception and assistance at the front office. Outside her professional obligations, Federica indulges in her passion for writing in her leisure time.