Monday, October 3, 2022

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U.S. reacts to Russia's sham referenda in Ukraine
On Friday, OFAC designated 14 persons in Russia's military-industrial complex, including two international suppliers, three key leaders of Russia's financial infrastructure, immediate family members of some of senior Russian officials, and 278 members of Russia's legislature for enabling Russia's sham referenda and attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory. For the names and identity information of the designated entities and individuals, see this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

In its press release, OFAC also issued new guidance that warns of the heightened sanctions risk that international actors outside of Russia would face for providing political or economic support to Russia as a result of its illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.

OFAC publishes compliance guidance for instant payment services and Libya sanctions regs
On Friday, OFAC announced its publication of Sanctions Compliance Guidance for Instant Payment Systems, which emphasizes the importance of taking a risk-based approach to managing sanctions risks in the context of new payment technologies such as instant payment systems and to highlight considerations relevant to managing those risks. This guidance also encourages developers of instant payment systems to incorporate sanctions compliance considerations and features as they develop these systems.

OFAC also reissued in their entirety its Libyan Sanctions Regulations, which were previously published in abbreviated form in 2011. The updated Libyan Sanctions Regulations include additional interpretive guidance and definitions, general licenses, and other regulatory provisions that will provide further guidance to the public.

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OFAC settles with Tango Card, Inc.
OFAC has settled with Tango Card, Inc., a Seattle, Washington-based company that supplies and distributes electronic rewards. Tango Card agreed to remit $116,048.60 to settle its potential civil liability for 27,720 apparent violations of multiple U.S. sanctions programs.

As a result of deficient geolocation identification processes, Tango Card transmitted stored value products to individuals with Internet Protocol (IP) and email addresses associated with Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. The settlement amount reflects OFAC's determination that Tango Card's apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed.

HUD disaster assistance for Florida and Alaska
HUD has announced the implementation of federal disaster relief for the state of Florida to assist state, tribal, and local recovery efforts for areas affected by Hurricane Ian beginning on September 23, 2022, and continuing. On September 29, 2022, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

HUD also announced federal disaster assistance for Alaska to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by a severe storm, flooding, and landslides from September 15-20, 2022. President Biden issued a major disaster declaration on September 23, 2022, for affected individuals in Regional Educational Attendance Areas of Bering Strait, Kashunamiut, Lower Kuskokwim, and Lower Yukon, and on September 29, made additional disaster assistance available to the state by authorizing an increase in the level of federal funding for emergency protective measures.

Barclays to pay $361M to settle SEC charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC (BBPLC) in connection with the unregistered offer and sale of an unprecedented amount of securities due to a failure to implement any internal control to track such transactions in real time. Both firms restated their year-end 2021 audited financial statements filed with the Commission as a result of the over-issuances and internal control failure.

The firms agreed to pay a $200 million civil penalty and the SEC additionally ordered BBPLC to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of more than $161 million, which was deemed satisfied by an offer of rescission BBPLC made to investors in the unregistered offerings.

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