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  • OFAC sanctions politically connected Lebanese individuals

    Financial Crimes

    On April 4, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions, pursuant to Executive Order 13441, against two politically connected Lebanese brothers who engaged in corrupt practices that contributed to the undermining of Lebanon’s democratic process. As a result of the sanctions, “all property and interests in property of the individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

    Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations SDN List Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions key Hizballah money exchanger

    Financial Crimes

    On January 24, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against several individuals and associated entities, including a Lebanese money exchanger and a money service business, for facilitating financial activities for Hizballah. Commenting that Treasury “is taking action against a corrupt money exchanger, whose financial engineering actively supports and enables Hizballah and its interests at the expense of the Lebanese people and economy,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson issued a warning that the U.S. is committed to holding persons accountable should they “exploit their privileged positions for personal gain.” The sanctions follow designations imposed last month against several individuals and companies that manage and enable Hizballah’s financial operations throughout Lebanon, including Hizballah’s “quasi-financial institution” and its central finance unit. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) 

    As a result of the sanctions, all property, and interests in property of the designated persons, “and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated persons unless authorized by an OFAC general or specific license. OFAC further cautioned that “engaging in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions,” and noted that the designated persons are also subject to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations. Pursuant to these regulations, “OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of an SDGT or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.”

    Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Designations OFAC Sanctions Hizballah SDN List Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions Hizballah accountants and weapons facilitator

    Financial Crimes

    On December 1, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against two individuals and two companies based in Lebanon for providing financial services to Hizballah. OFAC also designated another individual for actively working to procure weapons for Hizballah. According to OFAC, the designations target persons that manage and enable Hizballah’s financial operations throughout Lebanon, including Hizballah’s “quasi-financial institution” and its central finance unit. As a result, all property, and interests in property of the designated persons, “and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.” OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated persons. OFAC cautioned that “persons that engage in certain transactions with the persons designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.” Additionally, OFAC warned that a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducts or facilitates a significant transaction on behalf of any of the designated persons could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

    Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Hizballah SDN List Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions Hizballah financial facilitator

    Financial Crimes

    On May 19, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against a Lebanese businessman and Hizballah financial facilitator, as well as five of his associates and eight of his companies in Lebanon and Iraq. According to OFAC, the sanctions “illuminate[] Hizballah’s modus operandi of using the cover of seemingly legitimate businesses to generate revenue and leverage commercial investments across a multitude of sectors to secretly fund Hizballah and its terrorist activities.” OFAC also highlighted Hizballah’s practice of building “a web of businesses” with “opaque ownership structures” to “hide its activities and generate funds for its destabilizing activities.” According to Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson, the “designation of this network demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to protect Lebanon’s private sector and financial system from Hizballah’s abuse by targeting and exposing the group’s financial activities.”

    As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals and entities within U.S. jurisdiction must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC further noted that its regulations “generally prohibit” U.S. persons or persons within the U.S. from participating in transactions with the designated persons unless exempt or authorized by a general or specific OFAC license. OFAC also warned that the agency “can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of [a Specially Designated Global Terrorist] or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.”

    Financial Crimes OFAC Department of Treasury Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Hizballah Lebanon Iraq SDN List

  • OFAC sanctions additional Hizballah financiers

    Financial Crimes

    On January 21, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against a Hizballah-affiliated financial facilitator, along with members of an international network of facilitators and companies connected to both the designated individual and a Hizballah-linked financial facilitator sanctioned by OFAC on January 18 (covered by InfoBytes here). According to OFAC, the designated persons evaded sanctions efforts in order to help Hizballah gain access to the international financial system and raise funds to support acts of terrorism and other illicit activities. “Today’s action exposes and targets Hizballah’s misuse of the international financial system to raise and launder funds for its destabilizing activities as the Lebanese people suffer during an unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson stated. “Treasury is committed to disrupting Hizballah’s illicit activity and attempts to evade sanctions through business networks while the group doubles down on corrupt patronage networks in Lebanon.”

    As a result of the sanctions, all transactions by U.S. persons or in the U.S. that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are generally prohibited. Additionally, “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons, unless exempt or authorized by a general or specific OFAC license. OFAC further warned that the agency “can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”

    Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations SDN List Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions Hizballah financiers in Lebanon

    Financial Crimes

    On January 18, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against three Hizballah-linked financial facilitators and their Lebanon-based travel company. According to OFAC, “Hizballah’s widespread network of financial facilitators has helped the group exploit Lebanon’s financial resources and survive the current economic crisis.” The designated persons allow Hizballah “access to material and financial support through the legitimate commercial sector to fund its acts of terrorism and attempts to destabilize Lebanon’s political institutions,” OFAC stated, adding that the sanctions demonstrate the agency’s “ongoing efforts to target Hizballah’s continued attempts to exploit the global financial sector and evade sanctions.” As a result of the sanctions, all transactions by U.S. persons or in the U.S. that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are generally prohibited. Additionally, “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons, unless exempt or authorized by a general or specific OFAC license. OFAC further warned that the agency “can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” or “knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.”

    Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury Sanctions OFAC Designations SDN List Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions Lebanese individuals

    Financial Crimes

    On October 28, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13441 against two Lebanese businessmen and a member of Parliament. According to OFAC, the sanctioned individuals contributed to the breakdown of good governance and the rule of law in Lebanon by profiting from the pervasive corruption and cronyism in Lebanon. As a result of the sanctions, all transactions by U.S. persons or in the U.S. that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are generally prohibited. Additionally, “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

    Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Designations Lebanon OFAC Sanctions SDN List

  • OFAC sanctions entities connected to international terrorism

    Financial Crimes

    On September 17, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against members of Lebanon- and Kuwait-based financial conduits that fund Hizballah. In addition, OFAC designated members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies connected to Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Together, these networks allegedly “laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchanges and trades” for the benefit of both entities. According to OFAC, Hizballah, supported by the IRGC-QF, utilized the revenues from these networks to fund terrorism, and condoned instability throughout the region. As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and any “entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in control of a U.S. person must be blocked.” U.S. persons are “generally prohibited from engaging in transactions” with the designated members. OFAC further warned that the agency “can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.”

    Financial Crimes OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Lebanon Kuwait SDN List Of Interest to Non-US Persons

  • OFAC sanctions Hizballah finance official and Lebanese shadow bankers

    Financial Crimes

    On May 11, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against seven individuals in connection with Hizballah and its financial firm, which is used by Hizballah to direct the terrorist organization’s financial involvements and to access the international financial system. According to OFAC, one of the sanctioned individuals, who serves as the Chief of Hizballah’s Central Finance Unit, has “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.” The other sanctioned individuals have “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, [the financial firm].” As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property belonging to the sanctioned persons, and “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more” by them that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC notes that its regulations generally prohibit U.S. persons from participating in transactions with these persons, which include “any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.”

    Financial Crimes OFAC Department of Treasury Sanctions OFAC Designations SDN List Of Interest to Non-US Persons Lebanon

  • OFAC sanctions Lebanese government official for corruption

    Financial Crimes

    On November 6, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13818 against an individual for being a current or former high-level government official responsible for allegedly being “at the forefront of corruption in Lebanon.” According to OFAC, the sanctioned individual was involved in several projects that “steered Lebanese government funds to individuals close to him through a group of front companies” while serving as Minister of Energy. OFAC also designated the individual “for being a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.” As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the individual, “and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by him, individually, or with other blocked persons, 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 individual, including “the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services from any such person.”

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

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