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OFAC settles with lobbying firm over sanctions violations

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

Financial Crimes

On January 21, U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement with a New York-based lobbying firm for alleged violations of the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR). According to OFAC, between August 2017 and November 2017, the firm allegedly dealt in the property or interests in property of a Somalian organization designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), when it signed a contract with the organization and received payment for its lobbying services that were “outside the scope of generally authorized activities under the GTSR, including the GTSR general license for legal services.” In arriving at the settlement amount, OFAC considered various mitigating factors, including the fact that the firm voluntarily self-disclosed the issue to OFAC, and the firm implemented remedial measures, including adopting new screening procedures before entering into contracts with potential clients. OFAC also considered various aggravating factors, including that the firm’s executives had actual knowledge of the organization’s SDGT status and actively participated in signing the contract.

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