For months, WorldNetDaily has been touting John Cruz as the main whistleblower on HSBC's money-laundering schemes, even though that's not the case. With the news that HSBC is paying a record $1.9 billion in fines to settle the case with U.S. authorities, WND and Cruz are still eager to take credit for something they didn't really play a role in.
A Dec. 11 WND article by Art Moore is filled with Cruz's (and, by extension, WND's) self-aggrandizement:
Cruz was terminated in 2010 by HSBC after he provided evidence, including bank documents, that the identities of clients were being used to launder funds.
“I gave them tape recordings of employees talking about all of the fraud they are doing,” Cruz said. “To cover it up, they needed to get rid of me.”
As WND reported, Cruz turned over his evidence to federal authorities in 2009 but was not contacted until the allegations were first exposed by WND earlier this year.
Cruz met with special agents with the IRS criminal division in April and handed over a computer disc with copies of his internal documents. The agents, according to Cruz, were overwhelmed with the volume and detail of the information, calling it “mind-boggling.”
He said he doesn’t know the degree to which his evidence played a role in the investigation but believes it was a factor in the size of the fine.
“When I was first terminated, they were talking $800 million to $1 billion,” he said “I don’t think the fine would be anywhere near what it is right now if I had done nothing.”
Actually, it's unclear what role, if any, Cruz played in the federal case against HSBC. Reuters reports that the investigation can be traced back to 2008, when "the federal prosecutor in Wheeling, West Virginia, began investigating allegations that a local doctor used the bank to launder money from Medicare fraud." A Senate subcommittee report on HSBC issued in July makes no mention of Cruz.
Moore also touts how there was "fallout for WND" from the story in the form of how "senior reporter Jerome Corsi was fired by the New York City investment firm he had worked with for two years as a senior managing director, Gilford Securities." But as we noted, Corsi was apparently required to put disclaimers on his WND work distancing it from Gilford while he worked for both places, so it seems they weren't exactly proud to be employing him, and it also speaks to the cheapness of WND editor Joseph Farah that he apparently was paying his "senior reporter" so little that he had to take another job.