Department of Justice

On October 4, a retired U.S. Army colonel was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices act (FCPA) and the Travel Act and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in an indictment filed in the District of Massachusetts. The indictment is connected to his alleged role in a scheme involving a planned $84 million port development project in Haiti.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

On September 26, OFAC announced BD White Birch Investment LLC (White Birch USA) of Greenwich, Connecticut, agreed to pay $372,465 to settle its potential civil liability for three alleged violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations. The company facilitated the sale and shipment of Canadian-origin paper from Canada to Sudan in 2013.

Aggravating factors included:

“(1) White Birch USA exhibited reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions requirements by failing to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care with regard to the apparent violations; (2) White Birch Canada personnel appear to have attempted to conceal the ultimate destination of the goods from its bank (a U.S. financial institution serving as the confirming bank on a letter of credit) with respect to two of the apparent violations; (3) multiple White Birch USA personnel, including individuals in supervisory or managerial positions, had actual knowledge of and were actively involved in, or had reason to know of, the conduct that led to the apparent violations; (4) White Birch USA is a large and commercially sophisticated company; (5) White Birch USA’s compliance program was either non-existent or inadequate at the time of the apparent violations; and (6) White Birch USA did not initially cooperate with OFAC’s investigation into the apparent violations, particularly when it submitted materially inaccurate, incomplete, and/or misleading information to OFAC.”

Mitigating factors included:

“(1) White Birch USA has no prior OFAC sanctions history, and has not received a penalty notice or Finding of Violation in the five years preceding the earliest date of the transactions giving rise to the apparent violations; and (2) White Birch USA has reported to OFAC that it has taken remedial steps in response to the apparent violations, including by updating the company’s employee manual to include additional information concerning economic sanctions, implementing new compliance policies, and administering company-wide OFAC compliance training.”