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Judge approves $16 million settlement for Riggs Bank over Pinochet accounts

[JURIST] US District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina [official profile] on Tuesday approved a $16 million plea agreement between the Justice Department and Riggs Bank [corporate website] over Riggs' maintenance of secret accounts for South American dictators, including former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Urbina originally questioned whether the plea deal was not severe enough for Riggs, which he called a "henchman of dictators." Riggs pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to charges of money laundering over an eight-year period during which it maintained the accounts. A US Senate subcommittee investigation originally discovered the accounts [JURIST report] maintained by Riggs. Read a Riggs press release on the plea deal. The case against Riggs had thrown its purchase by PNC Financial Group into question until the deal was revised. Bloomberg has more.

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