OFAC Sanctions Compliance Fines Reach Decade-Long High

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 25, 2019

Fines issued by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) have reached a 10-year high, reflecting the administration's increased use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool, according to the Wall Street Journal. The mandate of OFAC is to administer and enforce "economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals." Though the year is only a little more than halfway over, the haul brought in through settlements with sanctions violators, $1.3 billion, is already 17 times what was collected in all of 2018. The only year that came close to the current total was 2014, when the government collected $1.2 billion in penalties. This larger sum is also coming from a smaller number of entities: The year-to-date total is 18 settlements, as opposed to  22 in 2014. 

Beyond new programs, this year's numbers could also be attributed to a backlog of cases finally coming to the fore, as well as speedier resolutions of these cases, according to the Journal. 

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