Archives: Sanctions Enforcement

Subscribe to Sanctions Enforcement RSS Feed

Epsilon Electronics: A Cautionary Tale on Transshipments?

On May 26, 2017, in Epsilon Electronics v. US Department of the Treasury, a split panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals partially upheld and partially remanded to the district court a determination by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to impose a penalty of over $4 million against Epsilon for … Continue Reading

OFSI Issues Regulations Implementing Civil Penalties for Financial Sanctions Violations

Following up on our previous post, yesterday the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) issued regulations formally implementing the civil penalties framework set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017.  OFSI has issued a press release, regulations regarding civil penalties, responses received to OFSI’s request for consultation regarding draft guidance issued in December … Continue Reading

UK to Move Towards US-Style Sanctions Enforcement with Upcoming Penalty Regulations

The UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation will soon issue regulations that could significantly alter the British sanctions enforcement environment, and bring it closer in line with the US’s approach to such violations.  On the heels of the newly-enacted Policing and Crime Act 2017, the regulations will introduce civil penalties for the violation of financial … Continue Reading

OFAC Takes Sanctions Jurisdiction Into Uncharted Waters

On February 3, 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a finding of violation against Taiwan-based B Whale Corp. (BWC), a member of the Taiwan-based shipping company TMT Group. The finding of violation was issued for activity occurring entirely outside the United States, based on the jurisdictional finding that “BWC was … Continue Reading

US Lifts Nearly All Economic and Financial Sanctions on Sudan

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published an amendment to the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR), 31 C.F.R. Part 538, on January 17, 2017.  The amendment authorizes all transactions that were previously prohibited under the SSR, including transactions involving the Government of Sudan.  OFAC’s SSR amendment comes as a broad general license … Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance Could be a Game Changer for Export Controls and Sanctions Enforcement

Steptoe’s Meredith Rathbone and Peter Jeydel co-authored an article in Risk & Compliance, “New DOJ Guidance Could be a Game Changer for Export Controls and Sanctions Enforcement.”  The article was published in the January-March issue and centers on how the US Department of Justice’s guidance may cause difficulties and new risks for industries. For more … Continue Reading

Roundup of Recent AML/Sanctions Enforcement Actions

Capping off a year of robust sanctions enforcement, two recent enforcement actions highlight the risks of doing business with sanctioned countries, in particular Iran.  In December 2016, federal and New York state regulators initiated enforcement actions related to alleged sanctions violations involving Iran.  In the first enforcement action, Italy’s largest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA … Continue Reading

Further Loosening of Cuba Embargo Aims to Solidify Normalization of Relations

On October 17, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  These amendments took further steps to ease economic sanctions and export control restrictions on Cuba.  Along with these … Continue Reading

How the 2016 Election Will Impact Public Policy Developments

Sunday’s presidential town hall debate was the second of three opportunities for candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to make their case to the American electorate.  In addition to the discussion of personal and character issues, the candidates touched on a range of policy issues, including tax policy, financial services, energy, and international trade.  The … Continue Reading

The Cost of Non-Compliance in the International Regulatory Space Has Just Gone Up

Today, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a rule increasing penalties for violations of its economic sanctions regulations.  This type of penalty increase should now occur on an annual basis. The maximum statutory penalty for each violation under most of OFAC’s sanctions programs, other than Cuba and a few others, is … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Sides with OFAC in Rare Judicial Challenge of Sanctions Violations Penalty

On March 7, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the US Government’s motion for summary judgment in Epsilon Electronics, Inc. v. United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, upholding a $4.073 million civil penalty imposed the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) on Epsilon Electronics, Inc. … Continue Reading

OFAC Issues a Finding of Violation Against MasterCard Over Reporting Requirements

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a Finding of Violation to MasterCard on March 16 for failing to report accounts in which blocked entities held interest. The Finding of Violation represents a rare instance of enforcement of the Reporting, Procedures, and Penalties Regulations (RPPR). Although MasterCard had restricted … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes Increased Penalties for Sanctions Violations

On February 10, 2016, a draft of the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16 (“the Bill”) was introduced to the UK House of Commons and given its First Reading.  The Bill is a lengthy document covering a wide variety of issues, including financial sanctions, which are contained within Part 8. Alongside the Bill, the UK government … Continue Reading

OFAC Penalizes Barclays for Zimbabwe Sanctions Violations

On February 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced a $2,485,890 settlement with Barclays Bank Plc (“Barclays”).  According to the settlement announcement, Barclays processed 159 U.S.-dollar (“USD”)-denominated transactions on behalf of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (“Barclays Zimbabwe”) between July 2008 and September 2013.  OFAC stated that … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webcast: 2015 Developments Regarding Economic Sanctions and Export Controls

Join us on Tuesday, December 15 for this complimentary webinar discussing economic sanctions, export control, and related developments over the past year.  Featured panelists include Steptoe International Compliance Blog contributors Alex Baj, Jack Hayes, Stephen Heifetz, Andy Irwin, Anthony Rapa, Meredith Rathbone, and moderator Ed Krauland. Date:   Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Time:   12:00 p.m. – 1:30 … Continue Reading

Crédit Agricole Settlement of Sanctions Allegations

On October 20, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB), based in France, settled sanctions allegations with the DOJ, OFAC, the Federal Reserve, and New York state authorities.  CA-CIB was alleged to have violated US sanctions against Sudan, Iran, Myanmar, and Cuba by “stripping” information related to those countries from payment messages when sending funds transfers … Continue Reading

OFAC Finding of Sanctions Violation Prompts Guidance on “False Hit Lists”

On October 21, 2015, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a Finding of Violation against BMO Harris Bank as the successor to Marshall and Ilsley Bank, which originated over $67,000 in funds transfers in 2011 on behalf of an entity involved in importing Iranian-origin carpets.  The bank had previously processed … Continue Reading
LexBlog