The DOJ charged two North Korean nationals and a Malaysian national with conspiracy to (i) violate North Korean Sanctions Regulations, (ii) launder funds, and (iii) violate the federal bank fraud statute.

In an affidavit, the DOJ alleged that, beginning in September of 2015, the defendants established and used front companies to transmit U.S. dollar wires for the purpose of purchasing commodities which transited through the United States, from a front company associated with the two North Korean nationals. Additionally, the DOJ stated that communications between the two North Korean nationals demonstrate that they and their front companies were aware of the sanctions placed by the United States on North Korea, but failed to obtain the required OFAC licenses for their transactions.

According to Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers regarding the charges: "These defendants allegedly violated U.S. sanctions by lying to international financial institutions in order to dupe them into processing transactions in U.S. dollars which they would not otherwise have cleared."