By: Scott Maberry and Reid Whitten

On November 21, 2011, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13590 expanding sanctions against non-U.S. companies doing business in Iran. Under the new rules, whole sectors of business between Iran and third countries are now subject to U.S. sanctions. Overnight, non-U.S. companies working in Iran—in sectors not previously subject to sanctions—found their contracts subject to punishment under U.S. law. Many of these companies had invested significant resources in making sure their transactions in Iran did not fall afoul of U.S. sanctions, some having met directly with U.S. Government agencies, including the U.S. State Department, to understand the rules. These companies must now again adjust the aim of their compliance efforts to hit moving targets.

Fortunately for these companies, it appears likely that in the near-term, contracts already in place and compliant with the rules at the time of the November 21 order will not be the target of enforcement actions.
 


Continue Reading Aiming for a Moving Target: Bad and Good News on Changing Iran Sanctions

By: Thad McBride and Mark L. Jensen

Introduction: On October 24, 2011, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released an opinion in United States v. Banki, No. 10-3381 (2d Cir. Oct. 24, 2011) that reversed convictions of Defendant Mahmoud Reza Banki on charges of conspiring to violate the Iranian Transaction Regulations (“ITR”) and aiding and abetting violations of the ITR.[1]  In doing so, the Court contradicted the position of the U.S. Government in a manner that may have important consequences for how the Government pursues sanctions enforcement matters going forward.


Continue Reading Clarity Required: Iran Sanctions Convictions Reversed in U.S. v. Banki

By Thaddeus McBride & Reid Whitten

Under a recent court decision, UK government agencies may be able to shield the names of British companies transacting in Iran, and thereby aid these companies in averting potential consequences of U.S. law.
 


Continue Reading Mind Your Own Businesses: UK Court Decision May Signal Pushback On Extraterritorial Enforcement of US Trade Laws

By Thaddeus McBride, Mark Jensen, & Corey Phelps

In late September, Flowserve Corporation (“Flowserve”) and a number of its subsidiaries agreed to settle alleged export violations with the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry of Security (“BIS”) for $2.5 million, and to remit $502,408 to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) to settle alleged U.S. sanctions violations. Flowserve, including its subsidiaries, is an oil, gas, and chemical services company with operations around the world. The settlement underscores the value of compliance measures specifically tailored to a company’s operations, and provides yet another example of the U.S. government vigorously enforcing U.S. law overseas.
 


Continue Reading OFAC, BIS Double Up Flow Serve: What the Flowserve Settlement Says About Corporate Compliance Programs

By Thaddeus McBride & Mark Jensen

On August 25, 2011, a major U.S. financial institution agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) $88.3 million to settle claims of violations of several U.S. economic sanctions programs. While OFAC settlements with financial institutions in recent years have involved larger penalty amounts, this August 2011 settlement is notable because of OFAC’s harsh—and subjective—view of the bank’s compliance program.
 


Continue Reading OFAC Settles Alleged Sanctions Violations for $88.3 million

By Thaddeus McBride , Reid Whitten & Corey Phelps

On August 18, 2011, based on the “continuing escalation of violence against the people of Syria,” President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13582 (“EO 13582”) to expand significantly U.S. sanctions on Syria.  This briefing summarizes those sanctions as well as the General Licenses issued—first on August 18 and again on September 9—by the U.S. government to authorize limited transactions with Syria.
 


Continue Reading Syria Update: Significant New Sanctions Imposed

By Scott Maberry, Thad McBride, Mark Jensen, and Corey Phelps

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has updated the sanctions regulations it administers against Libya and North Korea. These recently implemented sanctions continue OFAC’s trend towards precise, targeted sanctions; moreover, the way in which OFAC amended its sanctions on North Korea could have implications for U.S. sanctions on Cuba.
 


Continue Reading Trading Up: Newly Implemented North Korea and Libya Sanctions

By Curtis M. Dombek

On February 25, 2011, the President issued an Executive Order blocking not only the assets of Muammar Qadhafi, Ayesha Qadhafi, Khamis Qadhafi, Mutassim Qadhafi, and Saif Al Islam Al Qadhafi, but also blocking all assets of the Government of Libya, as follows:
 

“All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any overseas branch, of the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.”
 


Continue Reading New Sanctions Block Continuing Performance Of Libyan Government Contracts In Addition To Targeting Col. Qadhafi’s Assets

By John W. Chierichella and Jessica M. Madon

As a follow-up to our previous blog article, available here, we provide this month a more in depth analysis of some of the key features of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (“CISADA”) passed July 1, 2010. Our focus this month is on the expansion of the types of activities and persons that may be sanctioned. We also address the new mandatory representation and certification for government contractors. Finally, we note that the EU and Canada have imposed similar sanctions against Iranian transactions and we provide a brief synopsis of those sanctions.
 


Continue Reading Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, And Divestment Act Of 2010 – The Expanded Categories Of Sanctionable Activities