Kevin McCart

Subscribe to all posts by Kevin McCart

New 10-Year Statute of Limitations for U.S. Sanctions Violations

On April 24, 2024, President Biden signed into law H.R. 815[1], an emergency supplemental appropriations law, that provides $95.3 billion in military aid to U.S. allies and requires the divestiture of certain social media applications. While much of the discussion surrounding the new law focuses on the emergency foreign aid funding for Ukraine, Israel, and … Continue Reading

U.S. Sanctions Review: A Recap of OFAC’s Recent Enforcement Actions (Second Half 2023)

The second half of 2023 saw eight enforcement actions from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).  These actions reflect a range of penalties, industries, sanctions programs, conduct, and lessons learned.  Below are some highlights from OFAC’s enforcement releases and settlement agreements. Penalties OFAC imposed a total of $984,851,289.90 in penalties … Continue Reading

United States Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Justice Issue “Tri-Seal” Compliance Note on Voluntary Self-Disclosures of Potential Violations

Earlier this year, we published a post on the first Tri-Seal Compliance Note (“First Note”) issued by the United States Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) National Security Division (“NSD”), the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).[1]  When issuing the First Note, … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Continues to Stress Importance of Robust Corporate Compliance Programs

At last week’s American Bar Association’s 38th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, both Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. provided additional insight into the DOJ’s continued focus on corporate criminal enforcement. Our previous blog post details the expansion of DOJ’s National Security Division and the … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Initiatives Prioritize Economic Sanctions Enforcement

On March 2, 2023, the Department of Justice announced several new initiatives that prioritize the investigation and enforcement of economic sanctions evasion, export control violations, and similar economic crimes.  Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced a “surge of resources to address a troubling trend: the intersection of corporate crime and national security.”  In particular, DOJ’s … Continue Reading

Congress Continues to Expand Bank Secrecy Act Whistleblower Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 amended the Bank Secrecy Act’s whistleblower provisions, setting a floor on the monetary award a whistleblower may receive, allowing whistleblowers to receive awards relating to successful enforcement of certain economic sanctions statutes such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and establishing a fund from which to pay whistleblowers.  Following … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Criminal Division Announces Revised Corporate Enforcement Policy

On January 17, 2023, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (“AAG”) Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. announced significant revisions to the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, corporate criminal enforcement policy (“CEP”).[1] The new CEP changes offer additional incentives to companies for voluntary self-disclosures, cooperation, and remediation.  The new CEP reflects an increased emphasis on … Continue Reading

Analysis of Expected and Recent Developments in Congressional Oversight & Investigations in the 118th Congress

This month, the 118th Congress convened in Washington, D.C., ushering in a return to divided government. Republicans now hold a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, while Democrats have retained their slim Senate majority. With few opportunities likely for bipartisan compromise, Congress is expected to engage in more frequent and more partisan congressional investigations. … Continue Reading

President Biden Issues Executive Order Directing Agencies to Develop Policy Recommendations on Digital Assets

President Biden has signed his long-awaited Executive Order on digital assets (“Executive Order”).  The Executive Order, titled Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, does not announce any new regulations for the digital asset industry.  Instead, the Executive Order mandates federal agencies to take a unified approach to developing specific policy recommendations for a comprehensive regulatory … Continue Reading

Proposed FinCEN Pilot Program on Sharing of Suspicious Activity Reports with Foreign Affiliates

On January 25, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued its anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on a proposed pilot program that would permit certain financial institutions to share suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) and information related to SARs with the institutions’ foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates (the “NPRM”). The proposed rule is … Continue Reading

The Treasury 2021 Sanctions Review is Complete: What Next?

On October 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) released the findings from its review of the economic sanctions administered and enforced by its Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). During the review, Treasury met with individuals representing hundreds of sanctions stakeholders, including Members of Congress and their staffs, the private sector, foreign … Continue Reading

OFAC Issues Updated Ransomware Advisory and Designates Virtual Currency Exchange

On September 21, 2021, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued an Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments (the “Updated Advisory”) superseding its earlier October 1, 2020 guidance on ransomware attacks and, for the first time, added a virtual currency exchange to the Specially … Continue Reading

New Central Bank Guidance for UAE Financial Institutions on Suspicious Activity/Transaction Reporting

On June 7, 2021, the UAE Central Bank issued new guidance requiring all UAE financial institutions to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) or suspicious transaction reports (STRs) with the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) using the goAML portal within 35 calendar days of detection of any conduct that they reasonably suspect may be linked to … Continue Reading

FinCEN and Federal Reserve Seek Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Recordkeeping and Travel Rules

On October 23, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the ‘‘Board’’) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) soliciting public comment on questions relating to potential amendments to Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) regulations. The proposed … Continue Reading

FinCEN Imposes First of its Kind Civil Penalty against Cryptocurrency Money Service Business

On October 19, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released its assessment of a $60 million civil monetary penalty against the operator of two cryptocurrency “mixers” for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).[1] The action marks the first effort by FinCEN to target the use of these “mixers” to facilitate money laundering and … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Exchange and its Executives Face Allegations of Failing to Maintain an Adequate AML Program

Two U.S. authorities recently announced actions against four individuals and numerous entities associated with BitMEX, an online trading platform for futures contracts and other derivative products tied to the value of cryptocurrencies.  Both actions allege that BitMEX failed to put in place required anti-money laundering programs and procedures, and serve as a reminder that institutions … Continue Reading

Ransomware Payments can lead to Sanctions and Reporting Obligations for Financial Institutions

With cybercrime on the rise, two U.S. Treasury Department components, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), issued advisories on one of the most insidious forms of cyberattack – ransomware.… Continue Reading

SBA PPP FORGIVENESS APPLICATION PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR LENDERS AND BORROWERS

On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the long-awaited Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application.  Congress established the PPP as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and the PPP is a key pillar in the Government’s response to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.  … Continue Reading

Sanctions Considerations for Companies and NGOs Exporting Supplies to Iran

In an earlier post, here, we scrutinized the form and content of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)’s March 6, 2020 guidance pertaining to the provision of humanitarian goods and assistance to the people of Iran consistent with U.S. sanctions. In this concluding post, we discuss the factors the … Continue Reading

IBK Settlements with US Authorities Regarding BSA/AML Violations

On April 20, 2020, the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and its New York branch (IBKNY) (collectively, “the Bank”) entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the New York Attorney General, and a Consent Order (the “Consent … Continue Reading

OFSI Russian Sanctions Penalty; Foreshadows Increasing UK Enforcement?

On March 31, 2020, the United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) levied its largest monetary penalty to date of GBP 20.47 million. OFSI penalized Standard Chartered for loans to Denizbank, a Turkish bank that was majority owned by Sberbank, a state-owned Russian bank.  Accordingly, those loans violated European Union restrictions on making certain … Continue Reading

Special Appearance Denied In Sanctions Criminal Case

A New York federal judge recently held that a foreign bank could not challenge U.S. federal criminal jurisdiction prior to arraignment. US Allegation Halkbank is a Turkish majority state-owned bank. The United States alleged that Halkbank developed an illicit scheme comprised “of fraudulent transactions intended to deceive U.S. regulators and foreign banks” through which the … Continue Reading
LexBlog