A Small Sample of Trade Violation Cases

BNP Paribas SA

June 2014. BNP Paribas SA agreed to pay $963,619,900 to settle apparent violations of OFAC regulations involving multiple financial transfers to the Sudan, Iran, Burma, and Cuba, over the span of several years. Multiple factors contributed to the severity of the fine, among them senior management's knowledge of the apparent violations and the company's lack of an adequate compliance policies and procedures.

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Clearstream Banking, S.A.

January 2014. Clearstream Banking, S.A. agreed to pay $151,902,000 to settle allegations it violated the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). From December 2007 to June 2008, Clearstream maintained an account at a U.S. financial institution through which the Central Bank of Iran maintained an ownership interest in multiple assets. Clearstream's quick response to the apparent violations, which included implementing strong sanctions compliance standards, was considered a mitigating factor that prevented the penalties from being higher.

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Paypal Inc.

March 2015. It was determined that Paypal failed in their due diligence to employ adequate screening technology and procedures leading to the processing of transactions involving sanctioned nations and parties relating to terrorist interests. Paypal self-disclosed these violations and cooperated with investigators which was taken into account by authorities. The company also hired new management within its compliance division and implemented new screening procedures and controls. Paypal agreed to remit $7,658,300 to settle its civil liability.

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Bank of America, N.A.

July 2014. Bank of America, N.A. agreed to pay $16,562,700 to settle allegations it violated the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Act (FNKSR). The apparent violations included a failure to block five accounts owned by individuals on OFAC's SDN List, and processing 208 transactions conducted by said individuals. The apparent violations were determined to be egregious, due in part to deficiencies known to be present in its OFAC Screening Tool.

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BAmerican Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

July 2013. The Treasury Department announced that American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. had agreed to pay a $5,226,120 settlement after having apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR). The company had issued over 14,000 tickets for travel between Cuba and various countries other than the U.S. Many of these countries had laws that permitted activities prohibited by the CACR, and so the tickets required OFAC authorization, which was neither sought nor given. The fine was particularly heavy because investigators determined that the company had an inadequate compliance program given the scope of its activities.

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