Bitcoin advisor arrested for allegedly providing technical education on Blockchain to North Korea

Unsealed criminal complaint The US Attorney for the SDNY, together with the FBI yesterday announced the arrest of Virgil Griffith, a cryptocurrency advisor, in connection with technical services he allegedly provided to educate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“North Korea”) on sanctions avoidance and money laundering. Griffith was the subject of a criminal complaint […]

A digital currency was launched by a Russian national on a sanctions list, with ties to a $100M Ponzi scheme

Russian on OFAC list launches a coin The Kharon Brief has an interesting article here about Aleksei Muratov (Алексей Муратов), also spelled Aleksey Muratov, a Russian foreign national who is on the US OFAC sanctions list here, who founded, launched and owns an initial coin offering called PRIZM. More surprisingly still, despite sanctions law, correspondent […]

Iranian president alleges nothing being done in Iran to investigate corruption by politically exposed govt officials

The president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, delivered a speech over the weekend in Iran alleging massive corruption by senior government officials, and claimed that over $700 million is gone that was under the control of the Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, and a further $2 billion is unaccounted for in foreign countries in another […]

OFAC designates a judge and former state governor as Mexican cartel drug kingpins

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) designated several people associated with the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (meaning the new generation cartel of Jalisco), as drug kingpins.  Added to the drug kingpin sanctions list is a Mexican Judge, Isidro Avelar Gutierrez, who is believed to […]

Q & A on White House sanctions over technology from foreign adversaries

Last Wednesday, the White House issued an executive order (the “Order“) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701, the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601, and §301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, prohibiting transactions of hardware, software or other products or services that enable information processing, data processing, data storage, data retrieval or electronic communications […]

France & Spain go after Syrian PEP, the Butcher of Hama’s $1 billion in unexplained wealth

Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, is facing permanent asset forfeiture in France in connection with unexplained wealth and asset accumulation in France. He was charged in France last month with corruption, money laundering and embezzlement of state assets from Syria. He was ordered to remain in France. He is a politically exposed […]

US seeks money laundering forfeiture of a large cargo ship citing sanctions and correspondent banking violations

The US government unsealed a federal forfeiture complaint this week, seeking in rem forfeiture of a cargo ship that was used for sanctions avoidance to benefit North Korea which used US correspondent banks to engage in sanctions avoidance. The case has no tie to the US except for the use of correspondent banks and is […]

OFAC releases framework for sanctions compliance

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a framework for sanctions compliance yesterday which describes the sanctions compliance program standards for US legal and natural persons and for US-origin goods or services. The framework mirrors the requirements for a competence AML program and includes: commitment from the top down in writing. creation […]