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“She is more important.”Instead, FBME ousted Brown and Leighton, swept their findings under the rug, and kept Khachatryan in her post as the bank’s bulwark against money laundering and corruption.FBME’s top-flight lawyers at Hogan Lovells and Quinn Emanuel continued acting for their paymasters with full-throated vigour, fighting on behalf of the bank’s owners to gag the two detectives and withhold their findings from government investigators in the US and Cyprus.In recent years the world has woken up to the ease with which the super-rich can form offshore companies to conceal their wealth and avoid tax legally.But the FBME files shine a light on how the proceeds of some of the world’s worst crimes have been laundered into the West.But files reveal internal tensions about how to handle evidence of FBME’s misdeeds.Burck initially advised the bank’s owners to mount a sweeping internal inquiry and consider approaching the US Department of Justice after the private investigators laid out their findings – and he clashed with Hogan Lovells after discovering the firm intended to obscure the discovery of Khachatryan’s forged degree certificate from Fin CEN.Now the very executive whose job it was to keep the bank honest had been exposed as a liar.There was no option, the detectives told the bank’s owners and their lawyers, but to fire Khachatryan, investigate all the evidence of wrongdoing fully, and consider coming clean to the US government. “Fuck Fin CEN,” Brown recalled one of the owners telling him.
But the investigators’ suspicions that the compliance chief had a propensity to fabricate documents proved well founded.The better part of an hour later, Khachatryan re-emerged clutching a few loose sheets of paper that declared the porn baron was exactly the sort of person the bank would want to be doing business with.The detectives looked at her in amazement.“What on earth is this? The detectives quickly concluded that the file was a clumsy forgery, riddled with typos and spelling errors and hastily cobbled together during Khachatryan’s absence, according to affidavits they later sent to regulators in the US and Cyprus.But now Brown and Leighton were demanding information about a particularly problematic network of accounts – belonging to a gun-loving porn baron they suspected of running a massive credit card scam through FBME.Worse, there was evidence that the customer had acted in cahoots with none other than the son of one of the bank’s owners.