Episode 307 — Sanctions Enforcement Review and Predictions for 2024

DOJ is in the midst of launching an aggressive sanctions and export control program against corporations and individuals.  DOJ has warned everyone, repeated this message in various speeches and, most importantly, assigned the resources — 25 new federal prosecutors to enforce sanctions and export controls — to back up its enforcement program.

The new model for sanctions corporate enforcement will look like FCPA enforcement — a partnership between the criminal DOJ prosecutors and civil enforcement: the SEC in the case of FCPA enforcement; and OFAC or Bureau of Industry and Security for sanctions and export control enforcement.

The past year, 2023, reflected this coming wave of prosecution against companies.  DOJ recovered a total of $629 million from British American Tobacco, which included OFAC and other regulatory agencies in the penalty mix.  OFAC had a total of 17 enforcement actions, totaling approximately $1.5 billion in civil penalties.  Meanwhile, BIS recovered $300 million from Seagate for a blatantly willful violation of the Huawei export restrictions.

DOJ’s criminal prosecutors focused on Russia and Iran sanctions violations, bringing a total of 32 cases against individuals and companies.  This trend is likely to continue into 2024 with a possible increase in focus on China and North Korea sanctions and export restrictions.

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