The U.S. Treasury Department has accelerated efforts to remove qualified individuals and entities from its list of Specially Designated Nationals, according to the list's chief administrator.
Banks were the subject of praise and a warning at a press conference on Monday unveiling a 317 count indictment against 11 corporations and five individuals for their alleged participation in a conspiracy involving an Iranian shipping company.
We never said compliance professionals had it easy, and 2010 doesn't look to be a year when things will be any better for the anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing industry.
The U.S. Treasury Department clarified Wednesday the circumstances under which it can blacklist an organization or person for providing material support to terrorist groups.
Compliance officers at some of the world's largest financial institutions are concluding they need to create sanctions-specific programs to avoid regulatory penalties and tarnished reputations, according to a Deloitte survey released Monday.
Online transactions tied to sanctioned countries could lead to monetary fines for individuals, businesses and banks, even when it's unclear that the Web sites involved are blacklisted, say former OFAC officials and consultants.
The U.S. government does not expect financial institutions to bear the burden of identifying companies owned and controlled by individuals on its list of blocked foreign nationals, a U.S. Treasury Department official said Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted a Colombian money exchange house over its alleged ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a group identified as a terrorist organization by the United States since 1997.
As sanctions lists have grown exponentially, individuals and groups who have been named have challenged the process with varying degrees of success. For example, removals from lists maintained by the United States are few and far between, experts say.
OFAC guidance issued last month essentially blocks business dealings with any entity at least 50 percent owned "directly or indirectly" by any person targeted by OFAC sanctions, whether or not the entity itself has been sanctioned.
A federal court has ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to release e-mails and letters from individuals complaining that they have been unfairly ensnared by targeted financial sanctions.
Banco del Alba, launched Jan. 26 by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and three of his allies as an alternative to the World Bank and a U.S.-backed free trade pact, includes among its members Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, a country that has long been the subject of U.S. sanctions.
The designations require U.S. institutions to turn down business and freeze the assets of an Iranian military leader, two Shia extremist leaders and a former Iraqi Parliament member believed to be secretly operating a television station in Syria.
The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said Wednesday that it has targeted nearly two dozen people and 19 businesses, including a restaurant and toy store, allegedly used as front companies by the Sinaloa organization.
U.S. lawmakers, responding to a violent crackdown on protesters in August, are seeking to stop Myanmar's military leadership from importing rubies into the U.S. and laundering the proceeds through U.S. companies with business interests in Myanmar.
An executive order, issued by President Bush on July 17, requires U.S. financial institutions to block, or freeze, the transactions of people or organizations that commit or "pose a significant risk of committing" a violent act intended to undermine Iraqi stability.
Betsy Sue Scott, former head of the civil penalties division, says a recent increase of the maximum fines for OFAC violations will better fit the punishment to the crime. Violators previously were only receiving a "slap on the wrist" for serious offenses, she says.
Milan businessman Ahmed Nasreddin and Akida Bank, an institution he founded, were removed from the U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals list on Thursday, a move that could clear U.S. businesses to deal with Nasreddin. The U.N. followed suit a day later.
Wachovia in Philadelphia rejected a payment destined for a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," on or about October 29, 2004, instead of blocking the payment, according to OFAC.
The sanctions are part of a "comprehensive" drive by the U.S. to increase pressure on Iran, said Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. That effort has been frustrated by the hesitation of the United Nations and international community in following the U.S.