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Fed announces enforcement actions

The Federal Reserve Board has announced the execution of two enforcement actions:

  • Consent order to cease and desist and pay a $25,000 civil money penalty against Peter Little, a former employee of Barclays Bank PLC, New York, New York, for engaging in manipulative and collusive foreign exchange trading practices
  • Consent order of prohibition against Raul Cavazos, a former employee of Texas Community Bank, Laredo, Texas, for misappropriation of bank funds


MoneyGram and SAP settle with OFAC

OFAC has announced settlements with MoneyGram and SAP SE:

  • MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., a global payments company based in Dallas, Texas, that allows people to send money in more than 200 countries and territories, agreed to remit $34,328.78 to settle its potential civil liability for 359 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. MoneyGram provided services to blocked individuals incarcerated in U.S. federal prisons without a license from OFAC, processed transactions on behalf of an additional blocked person, and processed transactions for individuals who initiated commercial transactions involving Syria.
  • SAP SE, a software company located in Walldorf, Germany, has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for 190 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560, by remitting $2,132,174 to OFAC. Between approximately 2013 and 2018, SAP engaged in the export, re-export, sale, or supply of technology or services from the United States to companies in third countries with knowledge or reason to know the software or services were intended specifically for Iran, and sold cloud-based software subscription services accessed remotely through SAP’s cloud businesses in the United States to customers that made the services available to their employees in Iran. OFAC determined that SAP voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations, and that these apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case.
  • 04/28/2021

    FATF risk-based supervision webinar

    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced it will hold a webinar on Risk-Based Supervision on May 6, 2021, from 12:00-13:00 CEST/GMT-2 [6 - 7 a.m. EDT]. The session will be held on Zoom and will also be live streamed.


    Somalia sanctions regulations amended

    OFAC has amended and reissued in their entirety the Somalia Sanctions Regulations, replacing regulations that were published in abbreviated form on May 5, 2010. The final rule was published at 86 FR 22346 in today's Federal Register.


    REAL ID deadline delayed

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, to May 3, 2023, when every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel. All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with REAL ID security standards and are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. DHS has pushed back the full enforcement date to allow issuing authorities to catch up following the disruptions of the pandemic.


    SEC emergency action stops Ponzi scheme

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has reported it has taken emergency action to obtain a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze to stop an alleged Ponzi scheme and misappropriation of investor proceeds perpetrated by Melbourne, Florida, resident Jonathan P. Maroney through several entities he controls.

    According to the SEC's complaint filed in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, since about May 2015, Maroney and his companies raised at least $17.1 million from more than 100 investors in a series of fraudulent securities offerings. The complaint alleges that Maroney, his company Harbor City Capital Corp., and his various other entities told investors that offering proceeds would be used to finance the defendants' online "customer lead generation campaigns," and promised investors annual returns ranging from 10% to 60% from the resale of those leads to other businesses. In fact, according to the complaint, little if any investor funds actually went to the lead generation business. Instead, Maroney allegedly misappropriated at least $4.48 million in investor funds to enrich himself and his family, including the purchase and maintenance of his waterfront home and a Mercedes Benz, and to pay for his extensive credit card bills and renovation-related expenses on the house.

    Maroney is also alleged to have misused investor money by making payments to other entities unrelated to the supposed purpose of the offerings, and to have fraudulently used investor funds to make monthly interest payments and other payouts to investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion.


    IP Protect launched to protect intellectual property rights

    U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement has reported that the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), in partnership with Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau have launched “IP Protect.” This joint initiative provides resources – free of charge – to aid small to mid-size businesses in protecting themselves against intellectual property theft and fraud and in gaining cyber security awareness. IP Protect will provide small businesses with the following resources:

    • Direct points of contact for assistance or reporting tips related to IP theft, fraud, cyber intrusions, website fraud and trade secret violations
    • Cyber-attack security and data breach protection and response guidance
    • Brand protection best practices
    • Image and content rights protection guidance (video, image, music)
    • Software development protection
    • Guidance on trademark registration steps and resources

    A small sample of the resources and educational materials available to small to mid-size businesses through the IP Protect initiative can be found on the A-CAPP Center’s website.


    OFAC sanctions two Guatamalans for corruption

    The Treasury Department on Monday announced that OFAC had sanctioned one current and one former Guatemalan government official for their roles in corruption in Guatemala. This action targets Gustavo Adolfo Alejos Cambara, the former Chief of Staff for the Alvaro Colom presidential administration, and Felipe Alejos Lorenzana, an elected delegate to the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.

    These individuals were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. These sanctions reinforce actions taken last year by the U.S. Department of State to publicly designate both individuals, and their immediate family members, under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act due to their involvement in significant corruption.

    Identification information for Alejoz Cambara and Alejos Lorenzana can be found in this BankersOnline OFAC Update.


    OFAC sanctions key Burmese timber and pearl enterprises

    On Wednesday, OFAC designated two Burmese state-owned enterprises, Myanma Timber Enterprise and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise, which are responsible for timber and pearl exports from Burma. The timber and pearl industries are key economic resources for the Burmese military regime that is violently repressing pro-democracy protests in the country and that is responsible for the ongoing violent and lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children. These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.

    Identification information on these two enterprises can be found in a BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


    FTC report on protection of consumers during pandemic

    A report has been issued by the FTC staff highlighting the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report addresses challenges consumers face during the pandemic and details the Commission’s strategy to combat COVID-related fraud and other consumer issues using sophisticated targeting, aggressive law enforcement, and ongoing partnership and outreach.


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