Enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settlement with Charlotte-based Albemarle Corporation. The global specialty chemicals company will pay over $103.6 million following charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  A paralell cash settlement of $115 million with the Justice Department brings the company's costs to nearly $220 million.

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. has reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following concerns regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The U.S.-based out-of-home advertising firm will pay over $26 million in relation to the settlement. The concerns arose from interactions with Chinese government officials in the pursuit of outdoor advertising contracts.

A government contractor has been charged with espionage. Maryland resident Abraham Lemma, stands accused of gathering and delivering defense information to a foreign entity. The compromised material presumably involves Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

In a recent speech, Marshall Miller, principal associate deputy attorney general, emphasized consistency, predictability, and transparency in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) approach to corporate enforcement, particularly in relation to national security.  "National security laws must rise to the top of your compliance risk chart, with the recognition that even the most innocuous-looking transaction or activity could implicate our collective security."

3M has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for 54 apparent violations of OFAC sanctions on Iran that arose from its subsidiary’s sale of reflective license plate sheeting to an Iranian entity controlled by the Iranian Law Enforcement Forces. OFAC determined that these apparent violations were egregious and were voluntarily self-disclosed, and imposed a $9,618,477 settlement

Chief engineer Denys Korotkiy of the Dry Cargo vessel Donald was sentenced on Sept. 15 to serve twelve months and a day in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and failure to maintain an accurate oil record book. Vessel operating company Interunity Management (Deutschland) GMBH previously pleaded guilty for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oily bilge water and was ordered to pay a total of $1.25 million, including more than $312,000 to benefit marine and coastal natural resources in or near the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

A Russian citizen who has resided in Hong Kong, was charged in connection with conspiring to defraud the United States and with smuggling, wire fraud, and money laundering offenses based on his alleged participation in a scheme to unlawfully procure U.S.-sourced, dual-use microelectronics with military applications on behalf of end users in Russia. According to the complaint, Maxim Marchenko, 51, employed a web of shell companies as part of an overseas smuggling ring to ship dual-use U.S. technology with military applications to Russia in contravention of U.S. law. …

On September 18, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updated the Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued against Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries following the remediation of forced …

Denial of Export Privileges: Firearms to Mexico & Ecuador; Rebreathers to Libya

One of the two Florida men arrested this Spring in a scheme to launder funds for the fugitive "Gas King of Ukraine," through a Florida metals service center has entered a guilty plea. Sergey Karpushkin, a Belarusian citizen from Miami, was indicted and arrested for engaging in a $150 million scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarch Sergey Kurchenko and his two companies. Karpushkins plea acknowledged violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA"), 50 U.S.C. § 1705; and other money laundering charges.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed a civil penalty of $48,750 against Pratt & Whitney's aftermarket parts division to resolve 13 violations of the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (antiboycott regulations) PWCS voluntarily disclosed the conduct to BIS, cooperated with the investigation by BIS’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC), and took remedial measures after discovering the conduct at issue, all of which resulted in a significant reduction in penalty.

A federal grand jury in the District of Connecticut returned a superseding indictment charging a Connecticut-based oil and gas trader for his role in an alleged scheme to pay bribes to Brazilian officials to win contracts with Brazil’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (Petrobras).   The original charges against Glenn Oztemel and Innecco were unsealed on Feb. 15. In addition to the original charges against Glenn Oztemel and Innecco, the superseding indictment charges Gary Oztemel with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering.

Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a Temporary Denial Order (TDO) against three individuals and four companies implicated in illicitly supplying the Russian military with U.S.-sourced micro-electronics having significant military applications.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, a whistleblower who exposes fraud can receive a monetary award and anti-retaliation protections through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Program - as long as they blow the whistle voluntarily. A definition of “voluntary” may seem simple enough. However, some Dodd-Frank whistleblowers who, acting of their own free will and without legal obligation, report fraud are considered “involuntary” simply because they reported to the media, other government agencies, foreign law enforcement, or a U.S. embassy.

Under the newly adopted § 766.24(d)(1), BIS is now permitted to request the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement to extend an existing TDO for up to one year, a substantial extension from the previous 180-day limit. This enhanced provision is triggered in cases where a subject party has exhibited a pattern of repeated and ongoing violations of the EAR, thereby justifying the need for a more protracted control mechanism.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accepted an Offer of Settlement from Minnesota's 3M Company, closing its investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by 3M's …

BIS Announced three Orders Denying Export Privileges Friday, two for gunrunning to Mexico and Canada, and one for the export of an "eyepiece" to China.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $660,594 settlement with Construction Specialties Inc, a Lebanon, New Jersey manufacturer and distributor of specialty architectural products.  CS has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for three apparent violations of OFAC sanctions on Iran that arose from its United Arab Emirates subsidiary’s, Construction Specialties, Middle East L.L.C. (“CSME”), exportation of U.S. origin goods to Iran.  

On August 16, 2023 the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published orders denying export privileges to the following four individuals:

Departing Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Kenneth Polite told Reuters the department’s enforcement pipeline has several more “global resolutions,” or large corporate settlements pending in coming months. Mr. Polite, who will be joining Sidley Austin in October after overseeing corporate resolutions such as Glencore, ABB, Danske, and Stericycle attributed the backlog to COVID related- delays.  Polite said to expect "much larger schemes and activities."

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