JBT PAYS PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF US ANTI-NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION SANCTIONS

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.

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About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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