OFAC Issues Report of Alleged OFAC Violations

On July 1, 2009, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets and Controls (OFAC)  issued its June 2009 report of civil penalties imposed for alleged violations of OFAC sanctioned regimes. The report lists the following four settlements of alleged violations:  

    ·    Oxbow Carbon and Minerals LLC of West Palm Beach, FL agreed to remit $276,250 to settle allegations that the company violated the Iranian Transactions Regulations occurring from November 2006 through October 2007. OFAC alleged that Oxbow engaged in transactions involving services originating in Iran and facilitated trade-related transactions by non-U.S. persons which involved the use of vessels owned and/or managed by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines in Tehran, Iran, without an OFAC license. Oxbow did not voluntarily disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, but OFAC noted that the company "demonstrated cooperation" during OFAC's review of the alleged violations and has made revisions to its compliance program as a remedial measure. 

    ·    National Marine Consultants, Inc. has remitted $42,075 to settle allegations of violations of the Iranian Transactions Regulations. OFAC alleged that between March 2005 and May 2007 NMCI outsourced to an Iranian entity inspection services it was contractually bound to perform for a third-party, without an OFAC license. NMCI did not voluntarily disclose the matter to OFAC, but later cooperated with OFAC's investigation.  

    ·    Philips Electronics of North America Corporation, a New York, NY company, has remitted $128,750 to settle allegations of violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations occurring between June 2004 and March 2006. OFAC alleged that PENAC acted without an OFAC license through an employee's travel to Cuba in connection with the sale of medical equipment by a foreign affiliate of PENAC. PENAC voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC.

    ·    Willbros USA, Inc. of Houston, Texas, paid $6,600 to settle an allegation of violation of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations occurring between June 18, 2003 and December 29, 2004. OFAC alleged that Willbros willfully violated the Regulations when it entered into a contract to bid on an oil development project in Sudan, despite its knowledge that such activities violated the Regulations, by facilitating the export of goods, technology or services to Sudan and evading the prohibitions set forth in the Regulations. Willbros voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC. OFAC applied its 2003 Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines to this violation because Willbros and OFAC agreed to settle the allegation of violation, and memorialized the tentative agreement, prior to the issuance of OFAC's Civil Penalties Interim Policy of November 27, 2007.