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Vatican Scandal – And Then He Created the Moon and the SARS

For a second time in 2010, the Vatican finds itself under the magnifying glass as it again is the subject of a money laundering probe.

The current investigation stems from two suspicious EFTs, one for $26 million and the other for $4 million (USD) that did not have the proper identification information surrounding the transactions – specifically, where the funds had come from. The funds were seized as a precaution, and the Vatican Bank’s chairman and director general are under investigation for violation of Italy’s AML laws. No further information has been released about the infraction or the investigation.

For a second time in 2010, the Vatican finds itself under the magnifying glass as it again is the subject of a money laundering probe.
The current investigation stems from two suspicious EFTs, one for $26 million and the other for $4 million (USD) that did not have the proper identification information surrounding the transactions – specifically, where the funds had come from. The funds were seized as a precaution, and the Vatican Bank’s chairman and director general are under investigation for violation of Italy’s AML laws. No further information has been released about the infraction or the investigation.
The Vatican Bank was scandalized back in 1982 over its involvement with the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, then Italy’s largest private bank; the Vatican Bank was a large stockholder. Roberto Calvi, then known as God’s Banker, and another top executive were subsequently found murdered.

In my opinion: All we know is that there were two suspicious transactions and that the authorities are looking into this. Is the bank or a bank employee dirty? I don’t know; that is to be determined. What I do know is this: If this had been any other bank on the planet, this would never have received so much press and attention.

The Vatican Bank is being expected to operate at a proficiency level that is beyond six sigma and projected to run at total 100 percent perfection. Papal infallibility is apparently expected to extend to within the bank walls also. In the end, will this turn out to be a simple oversight like the bank says, or is there something more sinister at play? I have no idea.

I have no problem with this investigation; in fact, it should be looked into. If it turns out that there were bad intentions at play, then let the chips fall where they might. I just wonder if the Vatican Bank will get as much attention and press if the investigation reveals that it was indeed a simple oversight.

This has all the makings of a Dan Brown novel. Angels and Dollars? The Da Vinci Load? The Cash Symbol? Somebody stop me…!

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About the Author

Kevin Sullivan, CAMS, CCI is a retired New York State Police Investigator and Federal Agent who dedicated his career to AML and continues that work through his company, The AML Training Academy and Advisory LLC. Kevin coordinated AML investigations for the state of New York while being detailed to one of the worlds largest AML task forces, the NY High Intensity Financial Crime Area (HIFCA) El Dorado Task Force. He has helped develop and implement global AML guidelines and trained and advised all industries and government agencies requiring AML around the globe. He helped to write various certification programs for the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists’ (ACAMS) and was the co-founder and former chair of their inaugural chapter which was in NY. Follow Kevin or reserve a seat in one of his live webinars. Space is limited!

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