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Banker's Toolbox Announces — ACQUISITION OF LOAN LOSS RESERVE POWERHOUSE, MAINSTREET TECHNOLOGIES
Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

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E.g., Aug 16 2018

08/16/2018

OFAC targets facilitators of DPRK UN violations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced North Korea-related designations, continuing the implementation of existing UN and U.S. sanctions. This action against one individual and three entities was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13810 of September 20, 2017, and targets persons involved in facilitating illicit shipments on behalf of North Korea. This action reinforces the United States’ ongoing commitment to prevent financial flows to the DPRK’s unlawful WMD programs and activities, in accordance with the decisions of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

As a result of this action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked, and U.S. persons generally are prohibited from dealing with any of the designated persons. For identification of the designated individual and entities, see our OFAC Update.

08/15/2018

FinCEN Director Blanco comments at AML conference

In prepared remarks delivered at the 11th annual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference and Expo yesterday, FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco listed four areas in which FinCEN sees needs for improvement with respect to AML/CFT efforts:

  • Understanding the value of BSA data
  • Utilizing information to ensure compliance with FinCEN requirements
  • Increasing information sharing through the 314(b) program
  • Cybersecurity and emerging payments

08/15/2018

Fed makes annual prepaid card report to Congress

The Federal Reserve Board has submitted its annual report to Congress on the use of general-use prepaid cards in federal, state, and local government-administered payment programs and on the interchange fees and cardholder fees charged with respect to the use of those cards. In 2017, government agencies disbursed $144 billion through prepaid cards across reported programs, about one percent less than in 2016. By far, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) disbursed the largest share of total funds through prepaid cards.

08/14/2018

Iranian national designated as terrorist

OFAC has designated Iranian national Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed as a global terrorist. For identification information, see our OFAC Update.

08/14/2018

HUD requests comments on fair housing rule proposal

HUD yesterday announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking inviting public comment on amendments to its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. HUD's stated goal in pursuing new rulemaking is to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice through the use of their federal funds. Comments are sought on changes that would: (1) minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to meet their statutory obligations, (2) create a process focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on analysis, (3) provide for greater local control and innovation, (4) seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply, and (5) more efficiently utilize HUD resources. Comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication.

UPDATE: Published 8/16/2018. Comments due by October 15, 2018.

08/14/2018

Mnuchin comments on FIRRMA signing

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin released a statement on the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act. The new law contains the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), which strengthens and modernizes the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). “FIRRMA delivers much-needed reforms that will ensure CFIUS has the tools necessary to identify, examine, and address national security concerns arising from foreign investment. America is a vibrant place to invest, and better protecting critical U.S. technology and infrastructure will ensure it stays that way. FIRRMA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and I am extremely proud of the work between Treasury and Congress to reach this historic agreement.”

08/14/2018

McWatters promotes financial literacy

In the keynote speech at the Defense Credit Union’s Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, NCUA Chairman McWatters said, “Service members and their families face unique financial challenges, whether serving on active duty, returning to civilian life, or living as a veteran,” McWatters also said, “A strong foundation of personal finance knowledge, knowing how to save and create a budget, and understanding the value and importance of money, is essential in today’s rapidly evolving financial marketplace. Not only does it affect an individual’s financial well-being, it also has implications for the economic well-being of the nation and, in the case of service members, our military’s readiness.” He also noted the NCUA website, https://www.mycreditunion.gov/Pages/default.aspx, has resources available in a variety of formats, including brochures, videos and interactive learning tools to help credit unions with their financial education programs.

08/13/2018

Bureau settles payday lending case

The CFPB announced on Friday that a federal court in the Western District of Missouri had entered an order approving a settlement between the Bureau and Richard Moseley Sr., Richard Moseley Jr., and 20 interrelated corporate entities (Hydra Group) controlled by the Moseleys in a lawsuit for the unlawful origination and servicing of short-term, small-dollar online loans to consumer across the country. The suit alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act and other federal consumer protection laws. The Bureau claimed the defendants obtained consumers’ personal and financial information from third-party data brokers, and used that information to access consumers’ bank accounts without authorization; then, the Hydra Group deposited "loans" in consumers’ bank accounts, then debited biweekly “finance charges” indefinitely. The Bureau also alleged that in any written disclosures consumers received, the price terms and repayment obligations of the "loans" were misrepresented.

Under the consent order, the defendants will be banned from the industry, forfeit approximately $14 million in assets, and pay a $1 civil money penalty (based on the defendant's limited ability to pay). A judgment of $69 million was ordered for redress payments, but was suspended upon compliance with other requirements of the order.

08/13/2018

Bureau finally updates Regulation P

The CFPB announced on Friday it had finalized amendments to its Regulation P to implement a December 2015 amendment to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that provides financial institutions that meet certain conditions an exemption to the requirement under the GLBA to deliver an annual privacy notice. A financial institution can use the annual notice exception if it limits its sharing of customer information so that the customer does not have the right to opt out, and has not changed its privacy notice from the one previously delivered to its customer.

The rule issued by the Bureau implements this legislation and establishes deadlines for institutions resuming annual privacy notices if their practices change and they therefore cease to qualify for the exemption. The Regulation P amendments will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Financial institutions have been able to take advantage of the GLBA amendments since their enactment in 2015, but some have been reluctant to do so until the regulatory changes were finalized. The final rule is substantially the same as proposed amendments to the regulation issued in July 2016, with changes to the timing provisions for provision of an annual privacy notice when the institution no longer qualifies for the exception.

08/13/2018

Citigroup pays $8.6M for improper mortgage docs

The Federal Reserve Board has announced an $8.6M fine against Citigroup for the improper execution of residential mortgage-related documents, addressing the deficient execution and notarization of certain mortgage-related affidavits prepared by a subsidiary, CitiFinancial. The improper practices occurred in 2015 and were corrected. CitiFinancial exited the mortgage servicing business in 2017.

Also on Friday, the Board announced the termination of an enforcement action from 2011 against Citigroup and CitiFinancial related to residential mortgage loan servicing. The termination of that action was based on evidence of sustainable improvements.

08/10/2018

OCC authorizes bank closings in California

The OCC announced Thursday it has issued a proclamation allowing national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks directly affected by wildfires and high winds in California to close. The news release also reminded bankers of OCC Bulletin 2012-28, "Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions," which includes suggestions on actions bankers could consider when their bank operates or has customers in areas affected by a natural disaster or emergency.

08/10/2018

Bureau makes 2018 HMDA file format check tool available

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection emailed an announcement Thursday that it has made available a File Format Verification Tool (FFVT) for HMDA data collected in 2018 and submitted in 2019. The FFVT is a resource for testing whether a HMDA file meets certain formatting requirements specified in the HMDA Filing Instructions Guide. The tool does not test for compliance with edits.

08/10/2018

NCUA proposes loan regs amendments

The NCUA Board has published [83 FR 39622] to amend its regulations regarding loans to members and lines of credit to members. The proposal would reduce regulatory burden by making amendments to improve clarity and to make compliance easier. The proposal would:

  • identify in one section all the various maturity limits applicable to federal credit union loans
  • better define the maturity date of new loans
  • more clearly express the limits on loans to a single borrower or group of associated borrowers

The NCUA Board also seeks comment on whether it should provide longer maturity limits for certain 1-4 family real estate loans. Comments on the proposal are due October 9, 2018.

08/10/2018

McWatters on minority credit unions

In a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the African-American Credit Union Coalition in Atlanta, NCUA Chairman McWatters noted minority credit unions play a vital role in providing affordable financial services in the nation’s most underserved communities and the agency is looking at new ways to support them. He said, “Unfortunately, minority credit unions are too often the only federally insured financial institution available in rural and urban communities that have been historically unserved by traditional financial institutions. Their presence in these communities provides an alternative to actors that engage in unfair practices at the expense of consumers. It’s that commitment to serve that makes minority credit unions the embodiment of the credit union philosophy of people helping people.” As of the end of the first quarter of 2018, there were 564 credit unions classified as minority depository institutions, accounting for 10 percent of all federally insured credit unions. Collectively, these credit unions had more than 4.3 million members and $42 billion in assets.

08/10/2018

FDIC guidance on recovery after California fires

FDIC FIL-41-2018, released yesterday, announced steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Shasta County, California, affected by wildfires and high winds.

08/09/2018

FinCEN extends exceptive relief 30 days

FinCEN has announced a 30-day extension of the limited exceptive relief that was to expire on August 9. The exceptive relief was from the obligations of the Beneficial Ownership Rule for Legal Entity Customers for automatically renewing certificate of deposit accounts or loans established before May 11, 2018. FinCEN Ruling FIN-2018-R003 extends the exceptive relief up to, and including, September 8, 2018.

08/09/2018

OCC Innovation Office hours in NYC

The OCC has announced it will hold Innovation Office Hours, September 25–27, 2018, in New York to promote responsible innovation in the federal banking system. Office Hours are one-on-one meetings with OCC officials to discuss financial technology, new products or services, partnering with a bank or fintech company, or other matters related to responsible innovation. OCC staff will provide feedback and respond to questions. Each meeting will last no longer than one hour.

Interested parties should request a session by August 17, 2018, and are asked to provide information on why they are interested in meeting with the OCC. Specific meeting times and arrangements will be determined after the OCC receives and accepts the request. For more information see the Responsible Innovation web page and a General Guide.

08/09/2018

Counterfeit official checks on ND bank

The OCC has issued Alert 2018-10 concerning counterfeit official checks appearing to have been issued by Gate City Bank, Fargo, North Dakota, which has reported that the phony checks using the bank’s routing number are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of up-front fee scams involving fictitious employment opportunities and online auction purchases. For details, see our Alerts page.

08/09/2018

U.S. Congressman charged with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the filing of insider trading charges against Congressman Christopher Collins, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 27th Congressional District, his son, Cameron Collins, and a third individual, Stephen Zarsky. In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced related criminal charges.

The SEC reports that Christopher Collins, who served as an independent director of an Australian biotech company, Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., is charged with tipping Cameron Collins after receiving confidential information about negative clinical trial results for Innate’s multiple sclerosis drug. Cameron Collins and his girlfriend’s father, Stephen Zarsky, are charged with trading and tipping others on the basis of the material, nonpublic information. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Christopher Collins learned of negative clinical trial results on the evening of June 22, 2017, in an email from Innate’s CEO to the board of directors, which stated that the CEO had “extremely bad news” indicating that drug trial results “pretty clearly indicate ‘clinical failure.’ ” Cameron Collins and Zarsky allegedly avoided losses of over $700,000 by selling Innate shares before the clinical trial results were made public.

08/09/2018

New 20% deduction for pass-through businesses proposed

Treasury and the IRS have issued proposed regulations implementing a significant provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that allows owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts, and S corporations to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income. The proposed rules:

  • Ensure that all small business income below $315,000 for married couples filing jointly (and $157,500 for single filers) is eligible for the deduction;
  • Provide clarity and flexibility for filers over those income thresholds by:
    • Including “aggregation rules” for filers with pass-through income from multiple sources;
    • Issuing guidance relating to specified service, trade or business (SSTB) income above the thresholds, which may be subject to limitation for the purposes of claiming the deduction; and
    • Allowing a de minimis exception to avoid unnecessary compliance costs for businesses earning only a small percentage of SSTB income; and
  • Establish anti-abuse safeguards to prevent improper tax avoidance schemes, such as relabeling employees as independent contractors.

Although income from "financial services" businesses would not be subject to the deduction afforded by the rule, the term "financial services" would be narrowly defined, omitting banking. Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 45 days following publication.

08/08/2018

OCC CRA evaluations

The OCC recently released a list of 40 national banks, federal savings associations and insured federal branches of foreign banks whose Community Reinvestment Act evaluations were made public in July. Thirty of the institutions were rated Satisfactory, and ten received Outstanding ratings. Of the Outstanding-rated institutions, three are large banks, three are small banks, one is an intermediate-small bank, two are wholesale banks, and one is a specialty bank evaluated under a strategic plan.

08/08/2018

Results of Fannie and Freddie stress tests

The FHFA yesterday released its Dodd-Frank Act Stress Tests – Severely Adverse Scenario report, which provides the results of the annual stress​ tests Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are required to conduct under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Act requires certain financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets to conduct annual stress tests to determine whether they can absorb losses as a result of adverse or severely adverse economic conditions. The report provides updated information on possible ranges of future financial results of the Enterprises under severely adverse economic conditions. Links to Summary Instructions and FAQs were provided in the FHFA announcement.

08/08/2018

Consumer credit continues to increase

The Federal Reserve Board has released the June 2018 G.19 Consumer Credit Report, which indicates consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4-1/2 percent during the second quarter. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 5 percent. In June, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3 percent. Technical Q&As explaining the report were also released.

08/08/2018

NCUA charges former Melrose CEO

Wielding an infrequently used authority, the NCUA has filed administrative charges against Alan S. Kaufman, former chief executive officer, treasurer, and board member of Melrose Credit Union, Queens, NY. The NCUA is seeking a prohibition order against Kaufman and is requesting he be ordered to pay restitution of at least $3.5 million.and a civil money penalty of $1 million. A seven-count notice of charges was filed alleging that Kaufman breached his fiduciary duties to Melrose by placing his own interests above those of the credit union, that he engaged in unsafe or unsound practices, and that he violated applicable laws and regulations. The notice further alleges that Kaufman benefited from his actions and that he caused “severe financial loss” to Melrose.

08/08/2018

Bureau joins global financial innovation network

The CFPB/BCFP announced yesterday it has joined 11 financial regulators and related organizations in an initiative to create the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The network will seek to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. It will also create a new framework for cooperation between financial services regulators on innovation-related topics. The GFIN is organized around a draft consultation document that sets out the three primary proposed functions of the organization:

  • act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models;
  • provide a forum for joint policy work and discussions; and
  • provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

The Bureau and the other regulators are seeking views by October 14, 2018, on the mission statement for the GFIN, its proposed functions, and where it should prioritize activity.

08/07/2018

FDIC lists CRA compliance ratings

The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in May 2018. Of the 82 banks listed, 72 received a rating of Satisfactory. Six banks (one each in Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi and New York and two in Utah) were rated Outstanding. Three banks (in California, Nebraska and New Jersey) received Needs to Improve ratings, and one (in Illinois) was found to be in Substantial Noncompliance.

08/07/2018

OFAC Iran-related actions

Treasury issued a bulletin on Monday to announce the president's issuance of a new Iran-related Executive Order, "Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran" [83 FR 38939] and OFAC's publication of FAQs relating to the new Executive Order. Treasury also announced that OFAC has amended existing FAQs relating to the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012, and has archived FAQs relating to E.O. 13622, Section 4 of E.O. 13628, and E.O. 13645.

OFAC also published a revised statement and updated existing FAQs relating to the Administration’s implementation of the President’s May 8, 2018 decision to cease the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to reimpose all sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the JCPOA. Monday was the last day of the 90-day wind-down of certain sanctions relief in the JCPOA.

08/07/2018

July SLOOS released, C&I standards easing

The Federal Reserve Board has released the report of the July 2018 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) on bank lending practices, which addressed changes in the standards and terms on, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months, which generally correspond to the second quarter of 2018.

  • Regarding loans to businesses, respondents to the July survey indicated that they eased their standards and terms on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to firms of all sizes and kept commercial real estate (CRE) lending standards about unchanged on balance. Banks reported stronger demand for C&I loans by small firms and weaker demand for CRE loans.
  • Banks also responded to a set of special questions inquiring about the level of banks' current lending standards relative to the midpoint of the range over which banks' standards have varied between 2005 and the present. Banks, on balance, reported that their levels of lending standards on C&I loans are currently at the easier end of the range from 2005 to the present. For CRE loans, banks reported currently having relatively tight lending standards on net.
  • For loans to households, banks reported that, on balance, their lending standards on residential real estate (RRE) loans and auto loans remained little changed, while a moderate share of banks tightened standards on credit card loans. In addition, banks reported weaker demand for all categories of RRE loans, while demand for consumer loans reportedly remained about unchanged. From a longer-term perspective, banks, on balance, reported that their current level of RRE and subprime consumer lending standards are at the tighter end of the range from 2005 to now.

08/07/2018

FDIC Consumer News special Issue

A Special anniversary edition of FDIC Consumer News has been released. The Summer 2018 edition celebrates 25 years of tips you can bank on: time-tested strategies for managing and protecting your money. The edition features articles over the years on various topics including: Saving money, About FDIC Insurance, Protecting Yourself, Banking and Bill Paying, Borrowing Money, Getting Organized, For Different Ages and Stages, and Test Your Financial IQ.

08/07/2018

Get-rich scheme halted

The Federal Trade Commission reports a federal court, acting on a complaint filed by the Commission and the State of Minnesota, has issued an order temporarily halting the Minnesota-based Sellers Playbook from running a large business opportunity scheme. The complaint alleges that Sellers Playbook lured consumers into buying its expensive “system” by claiming that purchasers were likely to earn thousands of dollars per month selling products on Amazon. The company used false and unsubstantiated claims, such as make “$20,000 a month” and “Potential Net Profit: $1,287,463.38.” Few, if any, consumers achieved such results, and most lost money. According to the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, the defendants, who have no affiliation with Amazon.com, took in more than $15 million from consumers from April 2017 to May 2018. Many consumers paid them more than $32,000.

08/07/2018

SEC updates list of firms using inaccurate info

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has updated its list of unregistered firms that use misleading information to primarily solicit non-U.S. investors, adding 16 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and nine bogus regulators.

The updates by the SEC Division of Enforcement’s Office of Market Intelligence, in coordination with the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs, are part of the agency’s continuing effort to protect retail investors.

08/06/2018

OFAC adds North Korea related sanctions

OFAC announced additional sanctions related to North Korea on Friday, continuing the enforcement of existing UN and U.S. sanctions. The new sanctions target a Russian bank for knowingly facilitating a significant transaction on behalf of an individual designated for weapons of mass destruction-related activities in connection with North Korea. OFAC also targeted one individual and two entities for facilitating North Korean illicit financial activity. This action reinforces the United States’ ongoing commitments to upholding the decisions of the UN Security Council. For identification information, see our OFAC Update.

08/06/2018

FEMA suspending Alabama and South Carolina communities

FEMA has published a rule [83 FR 38264] in today's Federal Register identifying communities in Alabama and South Carolina to be suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program on August 16, 2018, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • AL: Ardmore, Athens, Decatur, Falkville, Hartselle, Huntsville, Limestone County (unincorporated areas), Madison, Madison County (unincorporated areas), Mooresville, Morgan County (unincorporated areas), New Hope, Owens Cross Roads, Priceville, Somerville, Triana, and Trinity
  • SC: Aiken County (unincorporated areas), Jackson, and North Augusta

08/06/2018

Fed adopts single-counterparty credit limits rule

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has published a final rule [83 FR 38460] to establish single-counterparty credit limits for bank holding companies and foreign banking organizations with $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets, including any U.S. intermediate holding company of such a foreign banking organization with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, and any bank holding company identified as a global systemically important bank holding company under the Board's capital rules. The rule will become effective October 5, 2018.

08/03/2018

Fed announces Outlook Live presentation

The Federal Reserve will present "Complaints as a Supervisory and Risk Management Tool" as part if its Outlook Live webinar series on consumer compliance topics, on Wednesday, August 29, at 2 p.m. EDT. The presentation and Q&A segment will run for a total of one hour, and will summarize what an effective complaints management system looks like. Speakers from the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco and Kansas City will discuss how examiners investigate complaints and employ them during risk-focused supervision. They will also explore a complaints management model that incorporates current agency guidance and is scalable for community banks. Registration in advance of the presentation is required.

08/03/2018

FDIC publishes Section 19 policy statement

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has published [83 FR 38143] a final revised Statement of Policy for Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. The agency published a notice of proposed changes on January 8. Section 19 generally prohibits from participation in banking of a person convicted of a crime of dishonesty or breach of trust or money laundering or who has entered a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with the prosecution for such offense.

08/03/2018

NCUA Board proposes delay of risk-based capital rule

The NCUA Board approved five items at its August 2 open meeting:

  • A proposed supplemental rule amending the agency’s prompt corrective action regulations to delay the effective date of the risk-based capital rule and raise the asset threshold defining a complex credit union.
  • A $675,000 operating fund budget transfer to pay for cybersecurity improvements and employee relocation costs associated with the agency’s reorganization.
  • Continuation of the current 18 percent annual interest rate limit for loans, except for loans originated under the payday alternative loan program, through March 10, 2020.
  • A final rule creating new suspension and debarment procedures to better protect the federal government’s interest in only doing business with presently responsible contractors.
  • A proposed rule to add specificity and clarity to current regulations covering loans and lines of credit granted to members and to provide credit unions with regulatory relief.

08/03/2018

FATF report on financial aspects of human trafficking

The Financial Action Task Force has released a report on the financial flows of human trafficking, which aims to raise awareness about the type of financial information that can identify human trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor and to raise awareness about the potential for profit-generation from organ trafficking. An executive summary of the report is also available.

08/03/2018

CFPB symposium on access to credit

The Bureau has posted an article announcing the agency will hold "Building a Bridge to Credit Visibility," a day-long symposium, on September 17 from 8:00 a.m to 4:45 p.m ET at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event is open to the public but space is limited and an RSVP is required. The event will also be livestreamed.

08/02/2018

Treasury sanctions Turkish officials

The Department of the Treasury announced on Wednesday that OFAC has targeted Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu under Executive Order 13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption,” which builds upon Treasury’s Global Magnitsky Act authorities. In connection with Turkey's detention and continued prosecution of Andrew Brunson, a U.S. citizen and pastor, Gul and Soylu were designated for being leaders of entities that have engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse. As a result of OFAC's actions, any property, or interest in property, of both Turkey’s Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Turkey’s Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Identifying information can be found in our OFAC Update.

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