OFAC’s Latest Warning on Distributors

sanctions

A Texas company that sells video production technology has agreed to pay $190,000 to settle charges that it knowingly allowed its goods to be sold into Iran, in our latest example of sanctions compliance enforcement from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  OFAC announced the settlement last Thursday against NewTek, which sells live production and…

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OFAC Fines Manufacturer Over Iran Resellers

sanctions

An Ohio business that manufactures pressure controls, switches, and sensors is our latest example of trade sanctions compliance gone wrong, and the steps a company should take to act on red flags before the business gets hauled in front of regulators.  The business, Cleveland-based UniControl, agreed Monday to pay $216,000 in penalties to the U.S.…

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OFAC Hits Bitcoin Processor

bitcoin

The Treasury Department has slapped a $507,375 fine against a bitcoin payments processor for sanctions compliance failures that allowed transactions with parties in Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere — only the second such enforcement action ever taken over digital currency transactions, but probably not the last.  The firm in question is BitPay, headquartered in…

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OFAC Dings Bank $8.5M on Sanctions

UBAF

We have our first enforcement action of 2021 to review: an $8.5 million fine that the Office of Foreign Assets Control slapped against a French bank for sanctions violations related to Syria, with a detailed list of compliance reforms the bank implemented to avoid harsher penalties.  OFAC announced the enforcement action on Monday against Union…

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Interesting Action From OFAC

sanctions

Compliance officers might want to take a close look at the wrist-slap that State Street Corp. received from the Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday, for violations of sanctions against Iran. It’s a small but telling example of how a robust compliance program brings benefits, OFAC or otherwise. OFAC did cite State Street for…

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More Lessons on Sanctions Programs

sanctions

Anyone looking for systemic failures in sanctions compliance and how a company might rectify those issues, look no further than Toll Holdings and the settlement it reached with U.S. regulators on Monday. Toll, a freight forwarding and logistics business based in Australia, agreed to pay $6.1 million to the Office of Foreign Assets Control to…

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FinCEN Offers Red Flags on Russia

Today we return to risks arising from the Ukraine crisis, because FinCEN has just published an alert warning financial firms to watch for transactions that might actually be Russians trying to avoid Western sanctions — including a list of red flags that AML compliance functions should keep on the radar screen. FinCEN published the 10-page…

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Ukraine Compliance Risks: A List

Ukraine

In our previous post we paused to consider some of the larger, more existential challenges to corporate ethics programs raised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Today I want to shift to some of the practical compliance challenges — because those challenges are many and diverse, and compliance professionals need to start putting them into a…

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Thoughts on the Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine

Years ago — no, wait, it was last Wednesday — I planned to have a post today about the SEC enforcement action against Baxter International. We all know what happened next, and after that, what compliance professional can focus on internal controls right now?  Since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last week, I’ve been trying to…

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Another Interesting Sanctions Case

sanctions

Another week, another interesting sanctions enforcement action from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. This time we have a Hong Kong trading company fined $5.2 million for facilitating trade with a chemicals business in Iran — but also catching a break because the company had warned its employees repeatedly to steer clear of Iranian customers.…

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