The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued a “finding of violation” to a credit card company concerning issues involving banks in Iran, in violation of certain Executive Orders. No penalty notice was issued.
According to the OFAC release [PDF 144 KB], the Iranian banks were listed as “specially designated nationals and blocked persons” on the SDN list. Before the Executive Orders were issued, the Iranian banks had maintained accounts with the credit card company. After the Executive Orders were issued, the Iranian bank accounts became dormant on the credit card company’s books. However, the assets in the accounts remained with the credit card company, and it then failed to report the accounts to OFAC (a violation of U.S. regulatory provisions).
The OFAC found that issuing a “finding of violation” was the appropriate action in this matter because, among other items: (1) no personnel of the credit card company appeared to have actual knowledge of the funds even though the company was “a large and commercially sophisticated company that…should have identified and reported the accounts…on the SDN list…”; (2) the funds never reached the sanctioned parties; (3) the credit card company cooperative with the investigation; and (4) there had been no similar violations by the credit card company for the previous five years.
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