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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC sanctions persons linked to corruption network in Venezuela

Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions Venezuela Of Interest to Non-US Persons

Financial Crimes

On September 17, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13850 against three individuals and 16 entities connected to two previously sanctioned Colombian nationals (covered by InfoBytes here) for enabling the Maduro regime “to corruptly profit from imports of food aid and distribution in Venezuela.” According to OFAC, the designated individuals are immediate family members with business connections to the sanctioned Colombian nationals “who are responsible for or complicit in, or have directly or indirectly engaged in, any deceptive or corrupt transaction or series of transactions with the Government of Venezuela or projects or programs administered by the Government of Venezuela.” The 16 designated entities, OFAC noted, are either owned or controlled by the designated individuals or one of the sanctioned Colombian nationals. As a result of the sanctions, “all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities designated today, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by those individuals or entities, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.” OFAC noted that its regulations “generally prohibit” U.S. persons from participating in transactions with the designated entities and individuals. OFAC also referred financial institutions to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network advisories FIN-2019-A002, FIN-2017-A006, FIN-2017-A003, and FIN-2018-A003 for further information concerning the efforts of Venezuelan government agencies and individuals to use the U.S. financial system and real estate market to launder corrupt proceeds, as well as human rights abuses connected to corrupt foreign political figures and their financial facilitators.

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