Office of Foreign Assets Control

News & Analysis as of

OFAC Issues Guidance Regarding the Parameters of Authorized Travel Between the U.S. and Cuba

On May 5, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued guidance regarding travel between the United States and Cuba. In particular, the guidance clarifies that companies authorized to...more

OFAC on Bitcoin—Learning Before Actively Regulating

Before a government agency issues regulations implementing a new law—or applies existing regulations to a new technology—it has to do some groundwork. The agency will interpret its authorizing legislation and executive...more

FinCrimes Update - April 2015 Summary, Volume 2, Issue 4

IN THIS ISSUE: AML/BSA &OFAC | FCPA & Anti-Corruption | Criminal Enforcement |...more

OFAC Publishes Guidance Regarding Travel Between U.S. and Cuba, Releases Updated FAQs Regarding Cuba-Related Sanctions

On May 5, OFAC issued new Guidance Regarding Travel Between the U.S. and Cuba, which provides information on the types of individuals and cargo that can be transported between the U.S. and Cuba by a licensed air carrier or...more

US/Cuba Relations: What You Need to Know About Protecting US Brands in Cuba

Recent developments justify reconsidering companies’ trademark protection options. Although US sanctions that generally prohibit US exports to Cuba as well as other transactions that involve Cuba largely remain in...more

Schlumberger OFAC Enforcement Action – A New Threat?

I have been writing lately about the rise of OFAC sanctions enforcement. OFAC and the Justice Department have started to build a close working relationship similar to that between the SEC and the Justice Department relating...more

Red Notice Newsletter - April 2015

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month in anticorruption developments, Canadian transportation giant faces scrutiny for alleged bribery in South...more

Sanctions Round-Up: First Quarter 2015

In this edition: - US and EU continue targeting Russia for its activity in Ukraine - Cuba-related regulatory reforms announced - P5+1 and Iran reach framework agreement - US enforcement actions:...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #4

FINRA’s Retrospective Rule Review Process Continues. On April 16, FINRA announced that the FINRA Board of Governors had authorized FINRA to publish a regulatory notice requesting comment on proposed amendments to Rules 2210...more

New US sanctions program to combat cybercrimes: 3 action steps for tech companies

The new sanctions in President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” target individuals and...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - April 2015 #3

In this issue: - US Federal Reserve Board Outlines Organizational Structure of the Large Institution Supervision Coordinating Committee - Final EU Regulations on Calculation of Margin Periods of Risk -...more

Russia Bulletin - April 2015

Russia is in the midst of strategically overhauling its economy, seeking to modernize its business methods, “de-offshore” business interests and impose stricter constraints on foreign investors and multinationals operating...more

Relaxed Cuban Sanctions Change the Landscape of the Financial Services Industry

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published new federal regulations permitting certain types of previously prohibited transactions. Financial services organizations hoping to gain a foothold into the Cuban financial...more

"Facilitation": A New Tool for Extraterritorial Sanctions Enforcement?

Recent OFAC and DOJ actions have focused on certain entities – overseas financial institutions – and particular conduct – US dollar clearing and associated “stripping.” The DOJ’s recent $232 million settlement and negotiated...more

President Recommends Cuba’s Removal from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

On April 14, 2015, President Obama notified Congress that he intends to remove Cuba from the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. While this is a newsworthy occurrence, it does not have immediate, or even...more

Five Step Process for Transaction and Continuous Controls Monitoring

Most Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and compliance practitioners understand the need for transaction monitoring. Whether it be as a part of your overall monitoring of third parties, employees, or to test the overall...more

President Issues Executive Order to Block Assets of Foreign Cyber Attackers

President Obama recently issued Executive Order 13694 (EO 13694 or EO), “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.” EO 13694 is aimed at deterring cyber attacks,...more

Beneficial Ownership and AML, Sanctions and Anti-Corruption Compliance

Sometimes compliance realities outpace enforcement and regulatory requirements. When it comes to FinCEN’s proposal to implement a beneficial ownership rule for financial institutions, global financial institutions do not need...more

President Obama Signs New Executive Order Targeting Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities

On April 1, 2015, the Obama Administration issued an Executive Order that will sanction individuals and entities that attempt, carry out or support malicious cyber-enabled activities that pose a significant threat to U.S....more

New Executive Order Authorizes Economic Sanctions to Combat Malicious Cyber Activity

Calling cyber threats “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges to the United States” and declaring a national emergency relating to those threats, on April 1, 2015, President Obama issued an...more

PayPal’s Settlement with OFAC Demonstrates Importance of Effective Sanctions Compliance Programs for Financial Institutions

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement with PayPal, Inc., the money services business, to resolve apparent violations of multiple U.S. economic...more

Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - April 2015

United States Imposes New Sanctions Against Certain Venezuelan Officials - On March, 8 President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order blocking, or "freezing," the property and interests in property of "certain...more

Parameters of Iran Sanctions Relief Announced

On April 2, 2015, the United States and its P5+1 negotiating partners, together with Iran, announced the key parameters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Further details are...more

Schlumberger and PayPal Settlements Reinforce Breadth of Sanctions Compliance Challenges

Last week, U.S. authorities settled criminal charges against a subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd. and civil claims against PayPal, Inc. Federal authorities alleged that these companies violated U.S. embargoes and other economic...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #2

The SEC Acts to Protect Whistleblowers Against Restrictive Confidentiality Provisions. In a development that should send HR directors and general counsels to review their form confidentiality agreements, the SEC announced...more

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