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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC reaches $133,860 settlement in Iranian sanctions matter

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

Financial Crimes

On December 8, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $133,860 settlement against an individual for allegedly facilitating four payments on behalf of an Iranian company using a personal bank account in the U.S., in violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), 31. C.F.R. part 560. According to OFAC’s web notice, between February 2016 and March 2016, the individual accepted $133,860 in the U.S., which went to a personal bank account, on behalf of an Iran-based company selling Iranian-origin cement to another company for a project in a third country.

In arriving at the settlement amount, OFAC considered various aggravating factors, including, among other things, that the individual: (i) willfully was in violation of or recklessly ignored U.S. sanctions on Iran when receiving payments on behalf of an Iranian company; (ii) was aware of, and actively participated in, the violations; and (iii) “harmed the objectives of the ITSR by enabling the evasion of sanctions by an Iranian company.” OFAC also considered various mitigating factors, including that the individual did not receive a penalty notice, finding of violation, or cautionary letter from OFAC in the past five years, and is a natural person with a limited ability to pay.

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