Ruling in Lloyds, Bank of Cyprus Lawsuits Could Limit U.S. Reach in Laundering Cases

By Brian Monroe

A federal court ruling dismissing a $300 million U.S. lawsuit against two European banks may limit how the United States enforces its anti-money laundering laws abroad, say former investigators. Southern District of New York Judge Charles Haight, Jr. said federal prosecutors didn't have "subject matter jurisdiction" to bring lawsuits against United Kingdom-based Lloyds and Bank of Cyprus, primarily because the contested wire transactions that allegedly funneled fraud proceeds occurred outside of the United States. The Justice Department sued the banks in October 2007 for allegedly knowingly aiding Cypriot fugitive Lycourgos Kyprianou launder the profits of an insider trading scheme that...