Financial Climate May Shift Bank of New York Toward Settlement in Russian Suit, Say Consultants

By Brian Monroe

Bank of New York Mellon is for the first time talking about a possible settlement in a $22.5 billion lawsuit brought by Russia over revenue purportedly lost in a money laundering scheme, according to news reports. The Russian Federation's customs house sued the financial institution in May 2007, claiming it had been prevented from collecting taxes on $7.5 billion illegally wired out of the country in the late 1990s by a rogue bank employee. The suit cited U.S. RICO statutes, allowing the plaintiff to seek up to three times the amount in question, or roughly $22 billion. Bank of New...