Category: Violations

The interim rule from the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense and NASA was published on August 7, 2019 and becomes effective today, August 13, 2019.  As a requirement of NDAA 2019, the rule prohibits federal agencies from purchasing telecommunications and video surveillance equipment, along with any “substantial or essential component of any system, or...

According to Treasury Department statistics, during the first six months of 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued nearly $1.3 billion in penalties. That represents 18 settled cases and is an amount which is 17 times greater than all of 2018 (when there were seven settled cases.) The totals for OFAC penalties...

On June 20, 2019, the Department of Justice announced that Walmart and its wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary plead guilty and agreed to pay a combined criminal penalty of $137 million to resolve allegations of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The fines include $728,898 in criminal penalties, $3,694,490 in criminal forfeiture, plus a...

So, you think your computer is fast?  The U.S., China, the European Union and Japan are in a race to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.  These machines would be capable of processing 1 quintillion - or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 - calculations per second.  In the latest action to help the United States in this race, on June 24, 2019,...

Ever wonder why your license application is taking so long to be reviewed and approved? Many thoughts go through a Compliance Officer’s mind when the license process is taking longer than expected: “Did I make a mistake on the license application?” “Should I have provided more information?”  “Did I miss something in my due diligence?”...

Darus Zehrbach of Westover, West Virginia was recently sentenced to six months in prison for making false statements to a federal agent. Zehrbach applied for an OFAC license to export electric scooters to Iran, however, the license was denied. Despite the denial, Zehrbach exported the scooters from the United States to the United Arab Emirates....

This past December, at the American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, Treasury’s Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker spoke to his audience on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) Compliance Commitments. While acknowledging that because U.S. economic sanctions can apply to all types of industries and businesses and there may not be a...

After a delay due to the government shutdown, the U.S. government recently announced increases to civil penalties for export related violations. Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, civil penalties for export related violations should have increased on 3 January 2019. However, given the fact that the USG was...

“Hey Alexa, are you a U.S. Person?”  Imagine this.  A conference call with your foreign-based customer is about to begin.  Today’s agenda includes technical discussions of recent upgrades and changes to the designs of some ITAR-controlled items.  Your Trade Compliance Officer has reviewed the material and confirmed that export authorizations are in place approving the...

Like many trade compliance professionals, I go out and peruse various trade compliance newsletters, the U.S. government agencies websites, and other media to keep up-to-date on compliance issues.  Recently, my attention was caught by a case involving Darling Industries of Tucson, Arizona. A closer look at Empowered Officials On February 28, 2019, the Directorate of...