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August 17, 1997updated 01 Sep 2016 5:35pm

INTERNET BANK CLOSED AFTER DEPOSITS SIPHONED TO RUSSIA

By CBR Staff Writer

A bank that billed itself as the first offshore bank on the internet collapsed recently (CI No 3,225), but not before officials at the bank wired $4.8m of its investors money off to a Russian bank, according to a Bloomberg report. European Union Bank of Antigua, although run from the Caribbean was founded by Russian nationals. The bank, which was founded in 1994 had some $6m in deposits and now there is less than $100,000 left, apparently. The Antiguan government shut the bank down on July 31. European Union Bank – no relation to the real European Union – claimed its depositors were insured by something called the International Deposit Insurance Corporation, although officials at the Federal Deposit Insurance corporation said they had never heard of the IDIC. The island’s government has appointed Coopers & Lybrand LLP to be receiver of the bank. The two co-founders lived in Bronxville, New York and Ontario, Canada. Two months before Antigua closed the bank, Idaho acted independently, said the bank was operating illegally ordered it to stop soliciting deposits from Idaho residents over the internet. Antiguan prime minister Lester Bird last February targeted three of the island’s more than 50 offshore banks for closure because of their involvement with Russian crime syndicates.

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