Enforcement

Commerce and the Justice Department announced actions against an enterprise to ship aircraft parts to sanctioned carriers in Russia. Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Matthew S. …

David Last, resigned as chief of the Justice Department’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit. Assistant Chief David Fuhr, has assumed the role as Acting Chief.   Mr. Last had been with DOJ for 14 years and was involved with the FCPA Unit since 2016, beginning as a trial attorney and serving as an Assistant Chief and the Principal Assistant Chief. Mr. Fuhr was named assistant chief in October 2019, having previously served as a trial attorney in the FCPA Unit.

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security is urging companies to come forward if they uncover potential export-control violations. The change in policy is part of an effort to encourage companies to take responsibility for any violations and work with regulators to remediate problems.

The saga of export enforcement actions against Iran’s first private airline continues with the May 5 renewal of the temporary denial order (TDO) against Mahan Airways and associated persons first issued in March 2008.     As the Russian commercial fleet seeks maintenance and repair resources for its western fleet, Mahan's expertise in dodging sanctions is highly sought.

The former Chair of Harvard University's Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, was sentenced in federal court in Boston today for lying to federal authorities about his affiliation with China's Thousand Talents Program and Wuhan University of Technology (WUT), as well as failing to report income he received from WUT.

Tao Jiang, the president and owner of Broad Tech System, Inc., a California-based electronics distribution company, and his company were both sentenced for their involvement in a scheme to illegally export chipmaking chemicals to a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese military. Jiang and Broad Tech System pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, violation of the Export Control Act, and money laundering conspiracy on January 11, 2023.

Demonstrating that the more prosaic reaches of export enforcement are alive and well, presecutors obtained a guilty plea in a federal court in Alexandria to turtle trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act. 

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued its FinCEN Year in Review for FY 2022. The Year in Review is intended to help stakeholders gain insight into both FinCEN’s efforts to support law enforcement and national security agencies, and how financial information—filed pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)—is used.

A second conspirator has been arrested in a scheme to launder funds for the fugitive "Gas King of Ukraine," Sergey Kurchenko, through a Florida metals service center.

A West Virginia man pleaded guilty today to a federal felony offense for committing an export fraud violation, according to court documents and statements made during the hearing. Rana Zeeshan Tanveer, of Beckley, admitted in his plea agreement that he knowingly submitted false export valuations for certain items he shipped to Pakistan.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) with Frank's International, a global oil services company. Between January 2008 and October 2014, Frank's paid commissions to a sales agent in Angola, knowing there was a high probability the agent would use the funds to bribe Angolan government officials on behalf of the company.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matt Axelrod issued an update to prior guidance on voluntary self-disclosure of possible violations of Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and disclosures about possible EAR violations by others.    The most significant change is that while self-disclosure continues to be considered a mitigating factor, the policy now clarifies that deliberate non-disclosure of significant violations will be considered an aggravating factor, increasing potential penalties.

Four US citizens and three Russian nationals have been charged with conspiracy to use US citizens as illegal agents of the Russian government, including a conspiracy to recruit US citizens from academic and research institutions to participate in a public diplomacy program.

Orlando-based Metalhouse LLC's President John Can Unsalan, 41, has been indicted and arrested for engaging in a $150 million scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarch Sergey Kurchenko and his two companies. Unsalan allegedly transferred over $150 million to Kurchenko and the associated companies between July 2018 and October 2021, receiving metal products used in steelmaking in return.

Microsoft has agreed to pay $3.3 million to settle potential civil liability relating to exporting services or software to comprehensively sanctioned jurisdictions and Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) in violation of OFAC's Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Ukraine-/Russia-Related sanctions programs.

An Estonian national has been indicted on eighteen counts related to conspiracy and other charges, including the procurement of sensitive US-made electronics for the Russian government and military. He engaged in this conduct despite being listed on the US Department of Commerce-maintained "Entity List," which designates individuals and companies barred from exporting items from the United States without a license.

A federal court has ordered the forfeiture of approximately $826,000 in funds connected to an attempt to smuggle a dual-use export-controlled item to Russia. The high-precision jig grinder, manufactured in Connecticut, was intercepted in Riga, Latvia, before it could be shipped to Russia. The machine is subject to export restrictions due to its potential applications in nuclear proliferation and defense programs.

Kenneth Scott and his company, Mission Electronics, have agreed not to engage in the export of EAR controlled material for a period of twenty years.  Scott was charged in June 2022 by the U.S. Department of Commerce with violating multiple export control regulations related to the sale of two Motorola handheld radios to Iran with a total value of approximately $1,700..

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a settlement with Uphold HQ Inc. for maintaining accounts in sanctioned countries over a five year period. …

The Treasury and Federal Reserve have jointly fined Wells Fargo Bank nearly $100 million for failing to prohibit sanctions violations conducted on its trade finance platform Eximbills over a period of seven years.

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