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HSBC Judge Urged to Approve $1.9 Billion Drug-Money Settlement

U.S. prosecutors asked a federal judge to sign off on HSBC Holdings Plc’s $1.9 billion settlement of charges it enabled drug cartels to launder millions of dollars in trafficking proceeds.

The Justice Department yesterday filed a brief in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, defending the deal, under which Europe’s largest bank can avoid further prosecution. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson last month told both sides to justify the accord, saying there had been “some publicized criticism” of it.