Wells Fargo fined $98M for facilitating sanctions violations in Iran, Syria, Sudan
Wells Fargo will pay nearly $98 million to settle charges a subsidiary facilitated more than $532 million worth of prohibited transactions in violation of sanctions against Iran, Syria, and Sudan.
Swedbank reserves $3.7M for OFAC settlement
Swedbank said it expects to pay 40 million Swedish krona (U.S. $3.7 million) as part of a settlement with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control related to apparent sanctions violations.
U.S. authorities list red flags for sanction evasion by third parties
The Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Department of Justice issued guidance to highlight common methods bad actors use to evade sanctions and export controls on Russia and how to spot their use.
Godfrey Phillips India to pay $333K in North Korea sanctions case
Tobacco company Godfrey Phillips India agreed to pay $332,500 to the Office of Foreign Assets Control to settle charges it violated U.S. sanctions by involving U.S. banks and bank personnel in payments for shipments to North Korea.
OFAC imposes new sanctions to mark anniversary of Russia’s Ukraine invasion
The Office of Foreign Assets Control unveiled a slew of new sanctions against financial services firms and individuals that either support Russia’s war effort or have been judged to be undermining existing U.S. sanctions.
Treasury No. 2 warns of increased Russian sanctions enforcement
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said the agency is primed to step up its enforcement efforts regarding sanctions and export controls announced against Russia in the year since the country invaded Ukraine.
Raiffeisen confirms OFAC probe into Russia, Ukraine business
Raiffeisen Bank International said it received a request for information from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding its business activities related to Russia and Ukraine.
Ethical culture strengthened by 2022 challenges, survey finds
LRN’s annual ethics and compliance benchmarking report found most respondents—85 percent—said their company’s ethical culture has been strengthened, not weakened, in facing the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, and more.
Banks fooled in DOJ Russian yacht sanctions evasion case
The Department of Justice’s charges against a U.K. businessman and his Russian partner for evading U.S. sanctions against a Russian oligarch provide insight into how the use of shell companies, third parties, and other methods can thwart the compliance efforts of financial institutions.
Crypto exchange Bitzlato shut down, labeled ‘money laundering concern’
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network designated Bitzlato, a Hong Kong-registered cryptocurrency exchange, as a “primary money laundering concern” in the first use of a law that targets entities that facilitate illicit Russian financial transactions.
Danfoss to pay $4.4M in OFAC sanctions settlement
Danish manufacturer Danfoss agreed to pay nearly $4.4 million to settle allegations a subsidiary violated U.S. sanctions by running payments from customers based in Iran, Sudan, and Syria through the foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution.
FinCEN report identifies financial trends of Russian oligarchs
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published an analysis of financial trends involving Russian oligarchs and how U.S. financial institutions have aided in the identification of more than $30 billion worth of sanctioned Russians’ assets.
AML 2023 preview: Regs not backing down on beneficial ownership, tech needs
Keeping up with increasingly demanding anti-money laundering expectations in 2023 will likely mean doing more with less and figuring out where and when is the best place to use technology to aid compliance, experts say.
Managing sanctions risk: Keys to successful implementation
The International Compliance Association hosted a webinar looking at challenges faced by organizations regarding changes in the sanctions landscape in 2022. Holly Thomas-Wrightson offers a recap of the discussion.
Tricky but doable: Tips for navigating sanctions in third-party relationships
Sanctions concerns don’t need to end all business relationships in high-risk regions. Experts at CW’s virtual TPRM and Oversight Summit share their experiences navigating compliance.
Top ethics and compliance failures of 2022
Businesses not taking AML requirements seriously, years of noncompliant off-channel communications catching up to financial services titans, and a manufacturing firm that shared revenue with terrorists comprise CW’s list of the biggest ethics and compliance fails of 2022.
Kraken to pay $362K over Iran sanctions screening lapses
Virtual currency exchange Kraken will pay a fine of approximately $362,159 to settle charges it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
NodusBank avoids fine in OFAC case over Venezuela sanctions violations
Nodus International Bank was found to have violated U.S. sanctions against Venezuela by the Office of Foreign Assets Control for allowing three unlicensed transactions on a blocked account.
Bittrex to pay $29M for BSA violations in landmark FinCEN, OFAC case
Virtual currency trading platform Bittrex agreed to pay more than $29 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other foreign asset restrictions by regularly allowing transactions with customers in Iran, Syria, and other U.S.-sanctioned nations.
Tango Card to pay $116K for e-gift card sanction violations
Tango Card, a supplier and distributor of electronic rewards, agreed to pay approximately $116,000 as part of a settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control for apparent sanctions violations related to its issuance of e-gift cards.
Credit Agricole to pay $1.1M to settle sanctions violations by 2 subsidiaries
Paris-based Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank will pay a total of approximately $1.1 million to settle charges its subsidiaries violated U.S. sanctions in five sanctioned countries.
How effective beneficial ownership searches leverage technology
Determining the ultimate beneficial owner of individuals and companies your firm does business with can be a tricky thing. The most efficient investigations require an understanding of your firm’s risk appetite and appropriate technology to automate searches.
U.S. sanctions Iran intelligence ministry over Albania cyberattack
Iran’s minister of intelligence, together with its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, were sanctioned by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for malicious cyber activities that threaten the national security of the United States and its allies.
Tether prepared to defy controversial U.S. sanctions on Tornado Cash
Cryptocurrency platform Tether is set to defy U.S. sanctions by holding firm on its refusal to freeze relevant Tornado Cash addresses until receiving further instruction from law enforcement agencies.
BIS charges Chinese cable giant with export control violations
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security charged China’s largest cable and wire manufacturer Far East Cable with export control violations related to its alleged dealings with telecommunications company ZTE to circumvent U.S. restrictions against Iran.
Adaptability: An overlooked, and underrated, compliance skill
Compliance professionals can utilize adaptability for its many benefits both individually and for the firms in which they work. The question, then, is how they do so.
OFAC designates steel giant MMK in latest Russian sanctions
The Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, one of the world’s largest steel-producing companies, as part of its latest round of sanctions against Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
British American Tobacco reserves $545M for U.S. sanctions settlement
British American Tobacco disclosed it has set aside £450 million (U.S. $545 million) for the resolution of an investigation into apparent sanctions violations by two U.S. agencies.
MidFirst Bank avoids penalty in OFAC resolution
MidFirst Bank will not pay a civil penalty after self-reporting to the Office of Foreign Assets Control apparent violations of weapons of mass destruction proliferator sanctions at the bank.
American Express to pay $430K for violations of sanctions against drug kingpin
A subsidiary of American Express agreed to pay $430,500 to settle charges its network processed 214 transactions on behalf of a Venezuelan drug kingpin who was designated on the U.S. sanctions list, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
SEC questioned Citi for additional info on Russia exposure
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently posed a series of probing questions to Citigroup seeking to understand the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the bank’s exposure in Russia.
CPE Webcast: Managing challenges of sanctions screening in your third-party risk program
Sanctions are one of the most important risk factors to consider in any compliance program. No one wants to be found to have business ties to a sanctioned entity given the potential for significant financial penalties and reputational damage.
e-Book: Avoiding pitfalls of working in high-risk regions
The issues of working in high-risk regions have always been there, but recent dynamic events and circumstances have added unique challenges.
FinCEN/BIS alert flags Russia export control evasion indicators
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Bureau of Industry and Security warned financial institutions to be on the lookout for new and novel ways individuals and entities in Russia and Belarus are attempting to evade export controls.
OCC risk report: Russian sanctions, staffing churn increase compliance challenges
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency warned banks and financial institutions about elevated operational risks caused by geopolitical tensions and a heightened compliance risk environment complicated by regulatory changes, policy initiatives, and difficulties in hiring qualified professionals.
CPE Webcast: Unmask offshore holdings of Russian oligarchs using public data
The cascade of sanctions condemning Russia’s assault on Ukraine has governments and financial regulators investigating Russian oligarchs, many of whom exploit gaps in public disclosure laws through offshore assets
‘Have contingency plans’: TPRM expert on confronting Russia risk exposure
Melanie Gallagher, head of third-party risk management at financial software company Intuit, offered best practices for navigating sanctions compliance risks at CW’s TPRM Summit in Chicago.
DAG Monaco: Sanctions should be ‘at the forefront’ of compliance approach
Businesses with a multinational footprint or international suppliers should be prioritizing abiding by U.S. sanctions in their compliance efforts, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at an industry event.
Strain in your supply chain no excuse for compliance shortcuts
With the Russia-Ukraine war’s ever-expanding sanctions landscape, supply chain strain and risk of enforcement are sharply increasing. Speakers at a recent event hosted by Drexel University’s Kline School of Law offered best practices.
e-Book: Navigating Russian sanctions and preparing for new threats
For chief compliance officers of U.S. companies, navigating Russian sanctions and export controls restrictions might feel like a full-time job on its own right now, not knowing when or where violations could occur in an ever-shifting enforcement landscape.
Treasury considering rule to address AML ‘loopholes’ in private investment
The Treasury Department is considering rulemaking that would seek to mitigate the growing risk sanctioned Russian oligarchs and politicians will attempt to use “hedge funds, private equity firms, and investment advisers to hide their assets.”
Banco Popular to pay $255K for violating Venezuela sanctions
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico has agreed to pay more than $255,000 as part of a settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control to resolve its civil liability for 337 transactions processed in violation of U.S. sanctions.
Best practices, common pitfalls in working in high-risk countries
A panel of compliance professionals discussed the increasingly relevant topic of working in high-risk countries, sharing their experiences and lessons learned at Compliance Week’s National Conference in Washington, D.C.
New sanctions add ban on U.S. accounting, management consulting work in Russia
The Treasury Department unveiled a host of new sanctions against Russian and Belarusian individuals and banks, in addition to a ban on U.S.-based accounting, management consulting, and trust and corporate formation services to any person located in the Russian Federation.
Cost of business? EU energy firms weigh bypassing Russian sanctions to secure gas
Russia’s squeeze on European energy companies to pay for gas in rubles might be about to pay off as some of the continent’s largest suppliers appear to be working out sanctions-compliant solutions to secure gas flows.
Treasury sanctions first virtual currency mixer
The Department of the Treasury announced first-of-their-kind sanctions against virtual currency mixer Blender.io for its alleged role in a significant virtual currency heist carried out by a North Korean state-sponsored cyber hacking group.
Wells Fargo in resolution negotiations regarding potential OFAC violations
Wells Fargo disclosed in a regulatory filing it has entered resolution discussions with a U.S. authority or authorities regarding potential sanctions violations it voluntarily self-disclosed to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Why beneficial ownership is crucial in supporting current sanctions
To ensure Russian money is controlled, and for sanctions to work, it is imperative the beneficial owners of sanctioned firms are identified. But determining beneficial owners is not always straightforward.
‘The new FCPA’: Monaco stresses sanctions as top DOJ commitment
As part of a discussion at an industry event, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco reiterated the Justice Department will prioritize the enforcement of sanctions the United States has placed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
CW National 2022 Q&A: Tyler Hand on working in high-risk countries
Tyler Hand, chief compliance officer at Western Union, previews his panel titled, “The Fast-Evolving Risk Working in High-Risk Countries—Experiences and Lessons Learned,” at CW’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. from May 16-18.