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When Bank of New York President Thomas Renyi testified in front of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee last week about his company’s role in an alleged money-laundering scheme by the Russian mafia, he was not on his own.

On the benches directly behind him sat a team of lobbyists, lawyers, and public relations advisers whose sole mission was to keep Renyi and the Bank of New York from getting into any more trouble than they already were in.A congressional hearing may not have the legal impact of a trial, but its effects can bring damaging public relations to an individual company and unwelcome legislation to an entire industry. In fact, both Committee Chairman Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) introduced anti-money-laundering bills last week.

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