US fines Italian bank $1.3 billion in sanctions probe

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MILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit will pay $1.3 billion (1.5 billion euros) to settle charges by the U.S. government that it violated sanctions against Iran and other countries.

UniCredit, which operates in several European countries, said Tuesday that its German subsidiary, UniCredit Bank AG, agreed to plead guilty in U.S. federal court to sanctions violations involving Iran.

A U.S. Depart of Treasury statement said the fine resolves an investigation by its foreign assets control office into violations of U.S. sanctions, including related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It cited the processing of over $500 million in payments in 2,000 operations from 2007 to 2011, a period during which UniCredit operated a U.S.-dollar account for the Iranian state-owned shipping company.

UniCredit said it had booked provisions beyond the settlement.

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