Economic sanctions

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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

The Price Cap on Russian Oil – Part 2: Updated OFAC Guidance

In our previous article on this topic (which you can read here), we analyzed recent enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) related to the maritime transport of Russian-origin crude oil and Russian-origin petroleum products above price caps agreed by the “Price Cap Coalition,” comprising Australia, Canada, … Continue Reading

The Price Cap on Russian Oil – Part 1: Increased OFAC Enforcement

In June 2022, the Group of Seven (“G7”) countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—decided to pursue a policy to cap the price of Russian oil. In December 2022, the G7 countries, joined by Australia and the supranational European Union (together, the “Price Cap Coalition”) officially implemented measures to ban … Continue Reading

Recent Changes to FATF’s “Grey List”; Could the UAE be Next Off the List?

Between October 25 and October 27, 2023, the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), an international policy-making and standard-setting body dedicated to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, held its third plenary meeting of the year (the “October Plenary”), at which it made important updates to its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring, often externally referred … 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 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

Increasing US Enforcement Action for Sanctions Violations by Crypto Exchanges Likely to Have Ripple Effect in UK and Europe

The investigation and enforcement of potential sanctions violations by crypto exchanges is an area of focus in the US at present.  The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) recent settlement with Kraken, a global virtual currency exchange, is the most recent OFAC case demonstrating the risks for virtual currency platforms … Continue Reading

OFAC Announces Settlement with Virtual Currency Exchange Kraken

On November 28, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced a settlement agreement with Payward, Inc., known as Kraken (“Kraken”), a United States-based virtual currency exchange. Kraken agreed to pay $362,158.70 to resolve its potential civil liability for 826 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“Apparent Violations”). The settlement amount … Continue Reading

Russian Sanctions Update: Will “Biting” Eighth EU Sanctions Package Prohibit Legal Services?

“Russia should not benefit from European knowledge and expertise.”  That is the view of European Commission (“EC”) President Ursula von der Leyen, who recently proposed an eighth package of sanctions against Russia in response to “escalation” in Ukraine.  Among the “biting” new sanctions will be a wider ban on the provision of European services to … Continue Reading

The UK’s OFSI Provides Guidance on Strict Liability Sanctions Breach Penalties

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, which is the authority for implementing financial sanctions in the UK, have published guidance to clarify how they will use their new powers to impose civil monetary penalties for sanctions breaches on a strict liability basis from Monday 15 June 2022.  The full message … Continue Reading

Series: Overview of Ways to Legally and Practically Protect Your Company from Industrial Espionage

As we discussed in a previous article, companies can be at risk from internal and external sources of industrial espionage, in an attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage or disrupt operations. Legal Protections Owners of a trade secret have a federal cause of action against an individual or company that misappropriates their trade secret … Continue Reading

New DOJ KleptoCapture Task Force to Enforce Russia Sanctions

On March 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the creation of the interagency Task Force KleptoCapture (the “Task Force”) to enforce the sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures against Russian officials and oligarchs in response to the conflict in Ukraine. The Task Force will consist of prosecutors and agents from numerous federal … Continue Reading

What Price Privacy? UK Drive For Foreign Owners’ Transparency

I wanted to take a moment to thank WealthBriefing.com for featuring my recent article “What Price Privacy?  UK Drive for Foreign Owners’ Transparency”. As the geopolitical landscape evolves and global financial sanctions take hold,  the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill introduced into UK law this month is worth reviewing.  Will the new legislation prevent … 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

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

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
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