SANTIAGO, Chile — Washington-based Riggs Bank agreed to pay $8 million into a fund for victims of former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the bank said Friday.
Members of the Albritton family, which controls the bank, will pay an additional $1 million, an attorney working with Spanish investigators said.
Riggs spokesman Mark Hendrix said that the bank would pay the $8 million using funds it set aside for litigation-related expenses and that criminal and civil claims against the company and seven former and current directors had been dismissed.
"The court order speaks for itself," Hendrix said. "This enables the institution to put the matter behind us."
The decision, which settled a case filed in Madrid alleging that the bank had illegally concealed assets, came a month after Riggs National Corp. pleaded guilty in the United States to violating a money-laundering law in connection with millions of dollars in secret Pinochet accounts.
Riggs pleaded guilty Jan. 27 and agreed to a $16-million criminal fine for not reporting suspicious transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act. That related to accounts held by Pinochet and officials of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
More than 3,000 people died in political violence during the Pinochet era and tens of thousands more were tortured, imprisoned or forced into exile as the military brutally suppressed opposition.
Pinochet stepped down in 1990, and years later Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon prosecuted him on charges of crimes against humanity.
Garzon also tried to freeze Pinochet's assets but was never able to find any.
A U.S. probe of Riggs last year discovered that Pinochet had stashed up to $8 million at the bank.
That discovery prompted major court investigations in Chile and revived Spanish judicial interest in Pinochet's money.