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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC settles with manufacturer for violating Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations

Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Enforcement Settlement Sanctions OFAC Designations Iran

Financial Crimes

On March 15, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced a $216,464 settlement with an Ohio-based manufacturer for alleged violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). According to OFAC’s web notice, between 2013 and 2017, the company allegedly failed to act on multiple apparent warning signs and exported multiple shipments of goods to two European companies despite having “reason to know that the goods were intended specifically for supply, transshipment, or reexportation to Iran by the two European companies.” OFAC noted that the company voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations and acknowledged that it “had actual knowledge” that some of the transactions were intended specifically for reexportation to Iran.

In arriving at the settlement amount, OFAC considered various aggravating factors, including that (i) the company failed to follow up on multiple warning signs that the European companies were reexporting goods to Iran; (ii) senior leadership knew or should have known the goods were being reexported to Iran; and (iii) the company and senior leadership “had actual knowledge” that the two final shipments were to be reexported to an Iranian end-user.

OFAC also considered various mitigating factors, including that the company (i) has had no prior sanctions history with OFAC; (ii) ceased all shipments to the European companies when it made its disclosure and requested that the goods be returned; (iii) cooperated with OFAC’s investigation and entered into tolling agreements; and (iv) strengthened its trade compliance and export policies and procedures to minimize the risk of similar violations from occurring in the future. 

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