OFAC Imposes Nearly $2 Million in Civil Penalties During July
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued its monthly report of civil penalties imposed on companies and individuals for allegedly violating the sanctions regimes administered by OFAC.
OFAC's monthly penalty report indicates that the agency settled nine cases involving corporations and ten cases against individuals. This month's report is noteworthy since OFAC imposed nearly $2,000,000 in penalties during the month, including a $1,198,000 penalty on Columbia, Maryland-based Minxia Non-Ferrous Metals, Inc. for allegedly purchasing or otherwise dealing in Cuban metals. The total amount of penalties reported in the July report is more than the sum of the penalties imposed by OFAC during the first six months of 2008.
OFAC also announced the following settlements with companies:
- Gate Gourmet, Inc., an airline catering company, agreed to pay $581,901.54 to settle allegations of violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. OFAC alleged that Gate Gourmet acted without an OFAC license or outside the scope of its license by supplying catering services to Cubana Airlines, referring business with Air Cubana to other suppliers, and funding employee travel to Cuba. Gate Gourmet voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC.
- A.G. Edwards and Sons Inc. remitted $122,358.35 to settle allegations involving the failure to block investment accounts and processing transactions on the accounts owned by Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers. A.G. Edwards voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC.
- Concord Camera Corp. agreed to pay $12,000 to settle allegations that its subsidiary, Concord Camera HK Ltd., Hong Kong, made unlicensed sales of cameras for delivery in Cuba. Concord voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC.
- Aetna Life Insurance Company paid $5,210.31 to settle allegations that Aetna initiated a life insurance proceeds payment to a beneficiary in Cuba. Aetna did not voluntarily disclose this matter to OFAC.
- Allied International Corporation remitted $4,455.37 to settle allegations that the company engaged in trade-related transactions involving the services of an Iranian shipper and an Iranian port without an OFAC license. AIC did not voluntarily disclose this matter to OFAC.
- Tours International America paid $2,500 to settle allegations that the company operated as an unauthorized travel service provider by making a hotel reservation at a hotel in Cuba. TIA did not voluntarily disclose this matter to OFAC.
- Logysis, Inc. agreed to pay $2,750 to settle allegations that it acted without an OFAC license or outside the scope of its license by initially accepting a letter of credit issued by a bank owned or controlled by the government of Iran. Logysis did not voluntarily disclose this matter to OFAC.
- Geico Corporation paid $1,085.63 to settle allegations that it dealt in property and/or interests in property of a Specially Designated National. Geico voluntarily disclosed this matter to OFAC.
- OFAC settled five cases involving the purchase of Cuban-origin cigars offered for sale on the Internet. The penalties imposed ranged from $395.25 to $4,351.50.
- OFAC assessed a $3,250 penalty on an individual who attempted to transfer money to a friend in Cuba.
- OFAC imposed a $700 penalty on an individual for engaging in unlicensed travel-related transactions involving a trip to Cuba.
- OFAC imposed penalties of $840 and $400 on two individuals for violating the prohibitions in the Iranian Transactions Regulations for attempting to transfer funds to a company called Me-Gold Kish in Iran in an apparent attempt to purchase electronic gold.
- OFAC settled a case against one individual for $561.54 for allegedly exporting financial services to Burma by sending a funds transfer to the account of a Specifically Designated National of Burma to pay for the purchase in Burma of merchandise.