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Last year, Wells Fargo paid a fine they could easily afford when they had purchased Wachovia bank, after Wachovia got busted laundering $110 Million dollars of drug money for foreign drug cartels. If you're keeping score at home that means if you get busted smoking a joint you go to jail, but if you get busted laundering millions of dollars in drug cartel money you get a slap on the wrist. Now, here's the catch, if you get caught smoking pot and go to jail, Wells Fargo will make a profit off of that too thanks to America's growing for-profit prison system.

For more details on how the banksters figured out how to flood America with illegal drugs for their own profit and then make money on the back end of the deal when you get sent to jail, make sure to read this article at Salon.com . . .

   As Wells Fargo has grown over the years, using its bailout funds to gobble up rival Wachovia and expand to the East Coast, so has the U.S. prison population. By 2008, one in 100 American adults were either in jail or in prison – and one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34, many simply for non-violent offenses, justice not so much blind as bigoted. Overall, more than 2.3 million people are currently behind bars, up 50 percent in the last 15 years, the land of the free now accounting for a full quarter of the world’s prisoners.

     These developments are not unrelated.

     A driving force behind the push for ever-tougher sentences is the for-profit prison industry, in which Wells Fargo is a major investor. Flush with billions in bailout money and an economic system designed to siphon wealth from the working class to the idle rich, Wells Fargo has been busy expanding its stake in the GEO Group, the second largest private jailer in America. At the end of 2011, Wells Fargo was the company’s second-largest investor, holding 4.3 million shares valued at more than $72 million. By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than 4.4 million shares worth $86.7 million.

~snip~

    All prisons are awful,” says Melanie Pinkert, an activist based in Washington, DC, who along with other members of Occupy DC’s “Criminal Injustice Committee” is helping lead a boycott of Wells Fargo, which just expanded to the nation’s capital. “But private prisons take it to the next level.” Indeed, a recent report from the U.S. Justice Department found that at one GEO-run juvenile facility in Mississippi, sexual abuse was endemic, “among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.” According to the report, GEO staff demonstrated:

- Deliberate indifference to staff sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior with youth;
- Use of excessive use of force by [prison] staff on youth;
- Inadequate protection of youth from youth-on-youth violence;
- Deliberate indifference to youth at risk of self-injurious and suicidal behaviors; and
- Deliberate indifference to the medical needs of youth.--

  It's "Heads, Wells Fargo wins; Tails, I go to jail, Wells Fargo wins"

   Now, I've said before that I don't know what the difference is between a slave plantation and a for-profit prison, but when they build a for-profit prison on the site of an old North Carolina slave plantation, well, that says it all there, doesn't it?

   More below the fold . . . .

    If you needed any other proof that the War On Drugs is a racket, you don't need to go much farther than this story. So here is Wells Fargo, a Too Big To Fail bank that puchased another bank who launders drug money for foreign Drug Cartels, cartels who flood America with illegal narcotics, providing a profit to Wells Fargo. If you use the drugs sold by the cartels that was made possible thanks to bankster money laundering you go to jail, but the banks only pays a fine, but that's okay because Wells Fargo has invested in the for-profit prison you will be detained in, providing another profit to Wells Fargo, and then Wells Fargo will use those profits to lobby politicians via ALEC for longer prison sentences and stricter criminal laws for everybody who isn't committing foreclosure fraud, which will result in more profit for Wells Fargo. They've got you coming and going. It's a racket. If you are a Too Big To Fail bank and you get caught with $300 Billion plus in drug money you get a slap on the wrist, but if you aren't Too Big To Fail and you get busted smoking a joint you go to jail, lose your freedom, and Wells Fargo makes a profit. Welcome to the new slavery.

   And if this reminds you of the CCA, the for-profit prison company who made large contributions to Republicans in Arizona and then saw several 'tough on crime' laws get passed that would criminalize being brown with ID (SB 1070) among other measures that would bulk up the prison population, then you've been paying attention. Of course, the best part of the GEO story is who invests in them, and lets not forget that the number two stock in Warrne Buffett's portfolio is Wells Fargo, but I digress . . .

    So how do we fix this travesty? Salon's column ends on a somber note with obvious advice . . .

   The political class having failed the public it purports to serve, choosing to imprison much of it for private profit, it’s left to the powerless – that would be us – to confront systemic injustice. One way to start: Quit giving your cash to those like Wells Fargo who make money by imprisoning your neighbors. And quit enabling the politicians from both major parties who make that possible.
  I would go beyond that and suggest three easy remedies to end this cycle of insanity. Break up the Too Big To Fail banks, legalize marijuana and re-examine our long failed war on drugs. If anybody deserves to go to jail it is not the drug user who needs rehabilitation instead of incarceration, it is the executives at Wells Fargo who figured out how to illegally foreclose on America and avoid prison by laundering drug money, financing for profit prisons and then fighting for tougher drug laws. What a racket!

   So, let me ask you again, what is the difference between for-profit prisons and a slave plantation, especially when the for-profit prisons are built on the same exact spot where the slave plantations used to be?

   The floor is yours . . .

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You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

     

12:48 PM PT: A hat tip to the comments, where cka makes an important point.

Let's be clear here (1+ / 0-)

It was Wachovia that was fined for not setting up an adequate anti-money laundering system, not Wells Fargo.  This from the Guardian story (you should read that story and not the Slate summary):

Wachovia's prosecutors were clear, however, that there was no suggestion Wells Fargo had behaved improperly; it had co-operated fully with the investigation.
And the laundering was not $374.8 billion but $110 million.  The billions included many legitimate transactions.  However, other banks had ceased to do business with the Mexican CDCs, which Wachovia (later bought out by Wells Fargo) still continued to deal with despite the warnings from inside Wachovia and investigators in London.

The money laundered, by the way, was from Colombian cartels and not Mexican cartels.
The diary above has been edited and updated to reflect these facts.

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 09:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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