November 4, 2019 By: Thomas Nollner*
A commonly held misconception within the sanctions industry is that Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions programs only apply to financial institutions. Recent large civil liability settlements between OFAC and several large banking companies support this misconception. As published in the international press, Standard Chartered Bank reached a settlement agreement with OFAC in April 2019 for an apparent violation by paying OFAC $639 million; Societé Génerale S.A. in November 2018 reached a settlement agreement for the same type of apparent violation by paying OFAC $53 million; and J.P. Morgan Chase in October 2018 paid $5 million to OFAC for an apparent violation.
August 05, 2019
OFAC Publishes New Framework for Compliance Commitments, Naming 5 Essential Components
On May 2, 2019, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments “in order to provide organizations subject to U.S. jurisdiction, as well as foreign entities that conduct business in or with the United States or U.S. persons, or that use U.S.-origin goods or services, with a framework on the essential components of a sanctions compliance program”. This guidance marks the first time that OFAC has provided prescriptive guidance to companies on its views of what should be included in an effective sanctions compliance program. (more…)
Lessons from the Euroturbine Case: Global Trends and Enhanced Due Diligence Essential to Safeguard Your Business
February 21, 2019 By: Jan Verloop*
On February 18, 2019, Euroturbine B.V. (Euroturbine), a Dutch supplier of specialist parts for gas and steam turbines, was fined for the illicit export of so-called ‘dual-use’ items with full knowledge that the items would eventually reach Iran.‘Dual-use’ items are those goods, products or technologies, normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military or Weapons of Mass Destruction related applications. As turbine engines and parts are made of high alloy materials, and can be used to power a number of military vehicles, they are considered ‘dual-use’ for export purposes, and cannot be exported without permission from the Dutch government.
February 4, 2019 By: Scott Nance and George Voloshin
On December 20, 2018, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a penalty notice and settlement agreement with Zoltek Companies, Inc., a U.S. producer of carbon fiber. OFAC found that Zoltek had violated U.S. sanctions laws due to its Hungarian subsidiary, Zoltek ZRT, having purchased inputs from a Specially Designated National (SDN) in Belarus. Zoltek agreed to pay a substantial fine of $7,772,102 and to implement various measures to ensure it would not commit future violations.
Indictment of Lebanese Businessman, Tajideen, Points to Bold Methods of Sanctions Enforcement by DoJ and May Trigger Compliance Headaches for Banks
July 14, 2017
By Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer, SanctionsAlert.com
On March 24, 2017, Kassim Tajideen, an international financier and businessman operating a network of businesses in Lebanon and Africa, was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) with evading sanctions by purposefully concealing his association with certain companies, the profits of which were used in part to support the Shiite militant movement Hezbollah. This terrorist group was also designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. Tajideen, who was extradited from Morocco to the U.S., pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts. (more…)