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  • OFAC reaches settlement with New Jersey corporation for alleged Ukrainian sanctions violations

    Financial Crimes

    On April 25, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $75,375 settlement with a New Jersey corporation for two alleged violations of the Ukraine Related Sanctions Regulations. The settlement resolves potential civil liability for the company’s alleged issuance of two separate invoices for software licensing and software support services to an entity previously identified on OFAC’s Sectoral Sanctions Identification List. According to OFAC, the designated entity’s attempts to remit payment were rejected by financial institutions after it was determined that the transaction by prohibited by OFAC regulations on certain debts. However, the corporation—which allegedly failed to have in place a sanctions compliance program and failed to “recognize that the delayed collection of payment was prohibited”—explored possible options to collect the payment and did not seek guidance or authorization from OFAC.

    In arriving at the settlement amount, OFAC considered various aggravating factors, such as the corporation “demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. economic sanctions requirements by repeatedly ignoring warning signs that its conduct constituted or likely constituted a violation of OFAC’s regulations.” Moreover, OFAC claimed that the corporation did not voluntary self-disclose the apparent violations to OFAC, and that senior management had knowledge of the alleged conduct.

    OFAC also considered numerous mitigating factors, including that (i) the alleged violations “resulted in minimal actual harm to the sanctions programs” and constituted a non-egregious case; (ii) the corporation has not received a penalty or finding of a violation in the five years prior to the transactions at issue; and (iii) the corporation has implemented a risk-based compliance program to minimize the risk of recurring conduct.

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

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  • OFAC sanctions Russians for aggression against Ukraine

    Financial Crimes

    On March 15, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced its decision to sanction six Russian individuals and eight entities, pursuant to Executive Order 13661, for “playing a role in Russia’s unjustified attacks on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait, the purported annexation of Crimea, and backing of illegitimate separatist government elections in eastern Ukraine.” The action complements sanctions imposed the same day by the European Union and Canada as part of a coordinated effort “to counter Russia’s continued destabilizing behavior and malign activities.” As a result, all property and interests in property of the sanctioned individuals and entities, as well as any entities owned 50 percent or more by them, are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from entering into transactions with them.

    Visit here for continuing InfoBytes cover of actions related to Russia and Ukraine.

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  • OFAC issues continued extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

    Financial Crimes

    On March 6, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of Ukraine-related General Licenses (GL) 13K and 15E, which extend the expiration date of previous Ukraine-based GLs to July 6, 2019 for wind-down transactions for certain companies that otherwise would be prohibited by Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations.

    GL 13K supersedes GL 13J and authorizes, among other things, activities and transactions “ordinarily incident and necessary” for (i) the divestiture of the holdings of specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person; and (ii) the facilitation of transfers of debt, equity, or other holdings involving specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person. GL 15E, which supersedes GL 15D, relates to permissible activities with the designated company and its subsidiaries, and applies to the maintenance and wind-down of operations, contracts, and agreements that were effective prior to April 6, 2018.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Ukraine sanctions.

    Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Ukraine Sanctions

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  • OFAC issues temporary extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

    Financial Crimes

    On January 16, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of Ukraine-related General Licenses (GL) 13J, 14E, and 16E, which modify the expiration dates of previous Ukraine-based general licenses for wind-down transactions for certain companies that otherwise would be prohibited by Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations.

    GL 13J supersedes GL 13I and authorizes, among other things, activities and transactions “ordinarily incident and necessary” for (i) the divestiture of the holdings of specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person; and (ii) the facilitation of transfers of debt, equity, or other holdings involving specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person. GL 14E, which supersedes GL 14D, relates to specific wind-down activities involving a Russian aluminum producer sanctioned last April as previously covered by InfoBytes here. GL 16E supersedes GL 16D and authorizes permissible activities with the designated company and its subsidiaries, and applies to the maintenance and wind-down of operations, contracts, and agreements that were effective prior to April 6.

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  • OFAC issues temporary extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

    Financial Crimes

    On December 20, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of Ukraine-related General Licenses (GL) 13I and 15D, which extend the expiration date of previous Ukrainian-based general licenses to March 7, 2019 for wind-down transactions for certain companies that otherwise would be prohibited by Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations.

    GL 13I supersedes GL 13H and authorizes, among other things, activities and transactions “ordinarily incident and necessary” for (i) the divestiture of the holdings of specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person; and (ii) the facilitation of transfers of debt, equity, or other holdings involving specified blocked persons to a non-U.S. person. GL 15D, which supersedes GL 15C, relates to permissible activities with the designated company and its subsidiaries, and applies to the maintenance and wind-down of operations, contracts, and agreements that were effective prior to April 6.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Ukraine sanctions.

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  • OFAC issues continued extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

    Financial Crimes

    On December 7, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of Ukraine-related General Licenses (GL) 13H, 14D, 15C, and 16D, which amend previous licenses related to permissible wind-down transactions that otherwise would be prohibited by Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations with respect to the subject entities. OFAC extended the expiration dates of the licenses from January 7 to January 21.

    GL 13H supersedes GL 13G and authorizes, among other things, activities “ordinarily incident and necessary” to (i) divest or transfer debt, equity, or other holdings in the specified blocked entities to a non-U.S. person; or (ii) facilitate the transfers of debt, equity, or other holdings in those entities by a non-U.S. person to another non-U.S. person. GL 14D, which supersedes GL 14C, relates to specific wind-down activities involving a Russian aluminum producer sanctioned last April as previously covered by InfoBytes here. GL 15C and GL 16D supersede GL 15B and GL 16C, respectively, and authorize permissible activities relating to the maintenance or wind-down of operations, contracts, and agreements with designated entities and subsidiaries that were effective prior to April 6.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Ukraine sanctions.

    Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Ukraine Sanctions

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  • OFAC reaches settlement with company for alleged Ukrainian sanctions violations

    Financial Crimes

    On November 27, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $87,507 settlement with an aerospace and defense technology company for three alleged violations by a former subsidiary of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations (URSR). According to OFAC, the settlement resolves potential civil liability for the former subsidiary’s alleged involvement in the “indirect export of components to be incorporated into commercial air traffic control radar” through Canadian and Russian distributors “to a person owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, by a person identified on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.”

    In arriving at the settlement amount, OFAC considered the following as aggravating factors: (i) the former subsidiary’s failure to recognize warning signs; (ii) the transactions, which constituted the apparent violations, were reviewed and approved by the Director of Global Trade Compliance, and “resulted in harm to the sanctions program objectives of the URSR”; (iii) the company and former subsidiary are large, sophisticated entities; and (iv) the company and its compliance personnel previously violated Iranian Transaction and Sanctions Regulations, while the former subsidiary was subject to a consent agreement as a result of recurring compliance failures.

    However OFAC also considered mitigating factors, including (i) the former subsidiary has not received a penalty or finding of a violation in the five years prior to the transactions at issue; (ii) the company has cooperated with OFAC and implemented remedial measures, including terminating the violative conduct and implementing steps to minimize the risk of reoccurring conduct; and (iii) the company voluntarily disclosed the alleged violations on behalf of the former subsidiary.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Ukraine sanctions.

    Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Ukraine Sanctions

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  • OFAC sanctions individuals connected to Hizballah, IRGC-QF networks in Iraq

    Financial Crimes

    On November 13, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against four Hizballah-affiliated individuals for their alleged leadership roles in the group’s terrorist financial activities in Iraq, including providing support for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). According to OFAC, the sanctions were issued pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which “targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.” OFAC’s designations follow the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018—signed into law October 25—along with the reimposition of Iran-related sanctions on November 5 (see previous InfoBytes coverage here), and reinforces U.S. efforts to “protect the international financial system by targeting Hizballah’s supporters, financial networks, and those that facilitate and enable its destabilizing activities worldwide.” Furthermore, OFAC states that the four Specially Designated Global Terrorists are also subject to secondary sanctions under the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implement the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, and allows OFAC to “prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the [U.S.] of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah.” As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the identified individuals subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from entering into transactions with them.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on sanctions involving Hizballah networks.

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  • OFAC issues extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

    Financial Crimes

    On November 9, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of Ukraine-related General Licenses (GL) 13G, 14C, 15B, and 16C, which amend previous licenses related to permissible wind-down transactions that otherwise would be prohibited by Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations with respect to the subject entities. OFAC extended the expiration dates of the licenses from December 12 to January 7, 2019, while reviewing the sanctioned entities’ proposed “substantial corporate governance changes” that may result in significant changes in their control.

    GL 13G supersedes GL 13F and authorizes, among other things, activities “ordinarily incident and necessary” to (i) divest or transfer debt, equity, or other holdings in the specified blocked entities to a non-U.S. person; or (ii) facilitate the transfers of debt, equity, or other holdings in those entities by a non-U.S. person to another non-U.S. person. GL 14C, which supersedes GL 14B, relates to specific wind-down activities involving a Russian aluminum producer sanctioned last April as previously covered by InfoBytes here. GL 15B and GL 16C supersede GL 15A and GL 16B, respectively, and authorize permissible activities relating to the maintenance or wind-down of operations, contracts, and agreements with designated entities and subsidiaries that were effective prior to April 6.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Ukraine sanctions.

    Financial Crimes OFAC Department of Treasury Ukraine Sanctions

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  • OFAC sanctions target persons supporting Russia’s “malign activity” in Crimea and eastern Ukraine

    Financial Crimes

    On November 8, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced its decision to sanction an additional three individuals and nine entities, pursuant to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA) and Executive Orders (E.O.) 13685 and 13661, for supporting Russia’s occupation of Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine and its continued “malign activity and destabilizing behavior.” According to OFAC, two of the individuals and one of the entities placed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) allegedly engaged in serious human rights abuses in “territories forcibly occupied or otherwise controlled by Russia” under the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, as amended by CAATSA Section 228. Additionally, pursuant to E.O. 13685, OFAC imposed sanctions on eight entities and one individual allegedly responsible for helping Russia advance its interests by operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine. OFAC further noted that one of the eight entities is also designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, a sanctioned Russian bank and a Russian national whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13661. As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the identified individuals and entities subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from entering into transactions with them.

    Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on Russia sanctions.

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