French Bank BNP Paribas pleads guilty to violating rules in working with blacklisted countries

BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, has pleaded guilty in New York to a federal charge of violating U.S. economic sanctions by processing transactions for clients in blacklisted countries.

The plea was entered Wednesday. It comes a week after lawyers for the bank pleaded guilty to similar charges in state court.

The bank has agreed to pay nearly $9 billion. It admits processing billions of dollars in illegal transactions on behalf of clients in Sudan, Cuba and Iran. The bank admitting violating U.S. trade sanctions imposed to block the participation of some countries in the global financial system.

Prosecutors say the transactions were processed through a New York branch office from at least 2004 through 2012. Federal authorities say the roughly $8.9 billion deal is the largest sanctions case ever brought.