Some of the UK's best-known banks, as well as Citibank and Bank of America, processed about $740m in a massive Russian money laundering operation. The money laundering ring in question was a collaborative effort by Russian criminals with ties to organized crime, the Russian government, and the KGB.
The scheme was known “the Global Laundromat” and apparently has connections to some of the highest ranking members of Russian society — though law enforcement is still working on compiling that list. Current estimates are that about 500 people were involved — including oligarchs, Moscow bankers, and figures working for or connected to the FSB, the successor spy agency to the KGB. The Guardian’s report is based on a review of documents that “show that at least $20bn appears to have been moved out of Russia during a four-year period between 2010 and 2014.”