John Bean Technologies (JBT) has agreed to pay $391,950 in settlement of any potential civil liability for its violation of US anti-nuclear proliferation sanctions. In its announcement of the penalty, OFAC stated that JBT’s violation was that it dealt in property that was blocked under the sanctions, namely a letter of credit for $2,897,936 that it presented to a US bank for payment in connection with a shipment of its goods by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) aboard a blocked vessel. When the US bank declined and returned the document pursuant to an OFAC licence, explaining its reasons for doing so, JBT approached a Spanish bank with the letter of credit to negotiate payment instead. JBT is also said to have violated sanctions by reimbursing its Spanish subsidiary for charges it paid for the shipping services rendered by IRISL and for fees associated with the Spanish bank’s negotiation of the letter of credit.
OFAC stated that the base penalty amount for the violations, which it said were “non-egregious”, was $670,000. While it acknowledged that JBT’s conduct was aggravated by their failure to voluntarily self-disclose the violations and senior management’s knowledge of the conduct, it recognised that it was also mitigated by their clean record for the preceding 5 years, the implementation of remedial measures to help prevent a recurrence of the violations, and their cooperation with OFAC’s investigation.