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After nearly seven months of consideration, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson's approval of the landmark $1.92 billion deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) between the U.S. Department of Justice, two U.S. Attorney's Offices, and HSBC, regarding anti-money laundering compliance failures and transactions with entities sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control may be the start of a trend of increased judicial oversight of DPAs.1 At the hearing to approve the DPA on Dec. 20, 2012—typically pro forma—Gleeson raised a host of concerns about his role, including by what authority and how he was supposed to analyze the agreement.2 In his July 1, 2013, order approving the DPA, Gleeson found authority to review the DPA pursuant to the court's inherent supervisory powers. The court found that the government had not chosen to bring the case to trial, enter into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) (which the court acknowledged carries no judicial oversight) or move to dismiss the case, and instead it had put before the court a DPA that would remain pending for five years.

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