The September 2009 Asset Search Blog article “Money Laundering By Minneapolis Money Managers?”, raised the issue of whether Associated Bank had violated federal anti-money laundering regulations.  This article discussed whether an account opened at Associated Bank in the name of Crown Forex, LLC, had been used to launder Ponzi scheme proceeds.  It pointed out that U.S. financial institutions like Associated Bank were obligated to verify a customer’s identity and follow a written Customer Identification Program.

The receiver trying to recover assets lost to Trevor Cook’s Ponzi scheme has now filed a complaint against Associated Bank over this same Crown Forex, LLC account.  The complaint available below alleges “Associated Bank knowingly aided and abetted one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Minnesota’s history.”  Complaint, p. 8¶ 13.  The complaint seeks damages for causes of action sounding in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and false representations.

It claims at p. 9 ¶13 & p. 24 ¶48, that Associated Bank ignored “red flags” related to the Crown Forex, LLC account.  The complaint’s exhibits also include the January 15, 2010 affidavit of Lien Edward Sarles, a former Associated Bank employee.  The affidavit basically alleges that Associated Bank failed to follow the required customer verification procedures, at the time the Crown Forex account was opened.

As mentioned at “Using Red Flags To Recover Ponzi Proceeds“, suing financial institutions in the aftermath of a Ponzi scheme is nothing new.  These lawsuits sometimes assert that a financial institution negligently or recklessly permitted Ponzi schemers to launder illicit proceeds through a financial account.

  (Click On The Image To View The Receiver’s Redacted Complaint) 

Copyright 2013 Fred L. Abrams