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Author: Erich Ferrari

Fright Night: OFAC, the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and the Dangers of Websites

Halloween was yesterday, but there was still something scary on my desk when I walked into the office this morning: the Appellees’ Brief in Epsilon Electronics, Inc. v. United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an appeal pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Although filed back on September 22, I just got around to reading this gem. If you’re not familiar with the case here is a link to a piece we did a while back. Basically, OFAC found that Epsilon had reason to know that...

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Seventh Circuit Makes Quick Work of Defendant’s “Willfulness” Jury Instruction in US v. Turner

Anyone that knows me can tell you that I get really disappointed by the way courts have handled the definition of willfulness in criminal prosecutions of violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). For those of unfamiliar with the statute, IEEPA serves as the underlying statutory authority in many sanctions programs. In order for there to be a criminal violation of IEEPA, one of the elements the government must prove is that the defendant acted willfully. In my dream world, willfully would be defined as acting with knowledge of the specific prohibitions of the IEEPA based sanctions...

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Kingpin Act Reporting Requirements: Quarterly or Annual?

This post is primarily directed to the members of the criminal defense bar that may be representing defendants who have been designated by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (“Kingpin Act”). As those lawyers can attest, the provision of many legal services to such Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (“SDNTK”) is generally authorized by 31 C.F.R. ยง 598.507. However, payment for such services must be specifically licensed by OFAC. Those specific licenses for payment also always have reporting requirements contained in Section III(b) of the...

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Flower Power: Does OFAC’s Recent Enforcement Announcement Highlight Common Misunderstanding?

This week, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced that it had settled an enforcement case with the PanAmerican Seed Company (“PanAmerican”) to the tune of $4,320,000. The settlement arose out of forty-eight (48) shipments of flower seeds to Iran through intermediaries in third countries. OFAC found that the base penalty for these violations was $12 million, and cited a number of factors it considered in coming to its final settlement amount. Such factors included allegations that PanAmerican was aware they were committing a violation, they sought to conceal their conduct, and...

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PIJIC Blocked, But Not Identified

As subscribers to the paid portion of SanctionLaw already know, we’ve obtained a lot of information pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted to the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over the years. While a lot of the information we receive is redacted, some of it proves to be useful. Indeed, a recent disclosure from OFAC, which is available on the paid portion of this site, includes an email from 2013 between Treasury officials and foreign officials that discusses the Pak-Iran Joint Investment Company (PIJIC) a/k/a Pak-Iran Investment Company a/k/a...

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