Barclays Pulled Into U.S. Money Laundering Investigation

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LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays has been dragged into an international money laundering investigation after U.S. prosecutors discovered that Arthur Budovsky, the founder of digital currency exchange Liberty Reserve, held an account with the British bank.

U.S. prosecutors have filed an indictment against the operators of Liberty Reserve, accusing the Costa Rica-based company of helping criminals around the world launder more than $6 billion in illicit funds linked to everything from child pornography to software for hacking into banks.

"Barclays can confirm it is co-operating with the investigation, following the notification it received from the authorities," a spokesman for the bank said on Sunday.

The 119-page indictment from U.S. authorities unsealed on Tuesday says on page 45 that Budovsky held an account with Barclays Bank in Spain (http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/May13/LibertyReserveetalDocuments/Liberty%20Reserve,%20et%20al.%20Redacted%20AUSA%20Appln%20with%20exhibits.pdf).

Budovsky, who was arrested in Spain last Friday, opened the personal account in 2009, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

The source added that Barclays has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

(Reporting By Christine Murray; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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