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Deutsche Börse Unit Is Subject of U.S. Criminal Investigation

“Deutsche Börse said on Wednesday that its Clearstream unit was the subject of a criminal investigation into potential violations of United States money laundering laws and sanctions against Iran.”

“The German stock exchange said the unit was cooperating with an investigation by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.”

“‘The investigation is in a very early stage and our U.S. counsels are currently analyzing the situation,‘” Clearstream said in a statement on Wednesday. “‘Investigation is a search process in a criminal proceeding. It is not a prosecution. Clearstream is currently not subject to prosecution.’”

“Shares of Deutsche Börse declined 3 percent, to 56.44 euros, or about $77.92.”

“In recent years, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the Justice Department both have aggressively pursued banks and others who have facilitated transactions by Iran and other countries or groups facing sanctions in the United States.”

“Last year, the Lebanese Canadian Bank, a defunct Beirut bank, agreed to forfeit $102 million as part of a settlement of accusations by the Justice Department that it helped launder hundreds of millions of dollars tied to the militant group Hezbollah.”

“In 2012, the British bank HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion and entered into a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, in which it would avoid prosecution if committed no further wrongdoing in the next five years.”

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