OFAC fines National Oilwell Varco for sanctions violations

OFAC has fined US firm National Oilwell Varco (NOV), and its subsidiaries Dreco and Elmar, $5,976,028 in settlement of their civil liability for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran, Cuba, and Sudan.  The settlement is concurrent with a settlement agreement between NOV and the Department of Commerce, and a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.  NOV’s settlement with OFAC will be deemed satisfied by its payment of $25,000,000 under the NPA.

OFAC determined that, between around 2002 and 2009, NOV repeatedly engaged in transactions involving the sale and export of goods to Iran, Cuba, and Sudan.  NOV is said to have wilfully blinded itself to Dreco’s deliberate non-identification of Iran in its communications with NOV.  It found NOV’s conduct to have been aggravated by, among other factors, the fact that it did not voluntarily disclose the violations, that senior management knew or had reason to know that several of the transactions were benefitting Iran, and that it is a large and sophisticated company involved in regions of high sanctions risk that had a wholly inadequate compliance programme in place.  OFAC found NOV’s conduct to have been mitigated by its cooperation with the investigation into its conduct, and its efforts to remediate its compliance programme.

OFAC’s penalty notice is here.

This entry was posted in Cuba, Iran, Sudan, USA by Michael O'Kane. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

Please Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s