We reported in July last year (see previous blog here) that BNP Paribas had pleaded guilty to conspiring between 2004 and 2014 to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act. It has now been sentenced for these offences, ie conspiring to breach US sanctions by processing billions of dollars’ of transactions through the US financial system on behalf of sanctioned Sudanese, Iranian, and Cuban entities.

This is the first time a global bank has pleaded guilty to violations of US sanctions. It has been sentenced to a 5-year term of probation, ordered to forfeit almost $8.9bn and pay a fine of $140m. This is largest financial penalty imposed in the US in a criminal case. Forfeiture and fines of $3.7bn against BNP Paribas in connection with a guilty plea in New York State Supreme Court for falsifying and conspiring to falsify business records and a penalty imposed by OFAC will count towards satisfaction of the criminal penalty. In its agreement with the New York State Supreme Court, BNP Paribas also agreed to terminate or separate from itself 13 employees, including the Group Chief Operating Officer and other senior executives, suspend US dollar clearing operations through any branches and affiliates closely associated with the misconduct, and extend for 2 more years monitoring put in place in 2013. The US Department of Justice press release is here.

This entry was posted in Cuba, Iran, Sudan, USA by Maya Lester QC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC has a wide ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. As the most recent (2016) Chambers & Partners directory put it, she "owns the world of sanctions". She spent 2011-12 in New York at Columbia Law School lecturing and writing on sanctions. She represents and advises hundreds of companies and individuals before the European and English courts and has acted in most of the leading cases, including Kadi, Tay Za, Central Bank of Iran, NITC and IRISL.

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