Money Transfer Company Fined for Lax Screening


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.   

Uphold agreed to remit $72,230.32 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of sanctions against Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.  Between March 2017 and May 2022, Uphold or its affiliates processed 152 transactions totaling $180,575.80 in apparent violation of OFAC’s sanctions against Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.  

These apparent violations included processing transactions for customers who self-identified as being located in Iran or Cuba and for employees of the Government of Venezuela.  The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that Uphold’s apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed.

Uphold is a global multi-asset digital trading platform founded in 2014 and based in the United States.   Uphold's ‘Anything-to-Anything’ trading experience enables customers to trade directly between asset classes with embedded payments.  Customers can move, convert, and hold currency (traditional and virtual) or commodities to enable foreign exchange and cross-border remittances.  

Under OFAC’s Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, the base civil monetary penalty amount applicable in this matter equals the sum of one-half of the transaction value for each Apparent Violation, which is $90,288.90. The settlement amount of $72,230.32 reflects OFAC’s consideration of the General Factors under the Enforcement Guidelines.

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