On 5 June, Fokker Services B.V. (FSBV), based in the Netherlands, agreed with the US government to pay $21 million in forfeitures and civil monetary penalties to settle alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran and Sudan. The settlement involved a civil monetary penalty of $10.5 million paid jointly to OFAC and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and a forfeiture of $10.5 million under a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (USAO).
OFAC, BIS and the USAO allege that FSBV, from 2005 to 2010, violated the Iran and Sudan sanctions when it indirectly exported or re-exported aircraft spare parts to Iran and Sudan that were procured from or repaired in the United States or that were of US origin and required an export license from BIS. The allegations cover 1,112 potential violations of the Iran sanctions, including allegations that FSBV provided spare parts to Iran Air, and 41 potential violations of the sanctions on Sudan. The US government asserts that FSBV used a number of schemes to evade US sanctions and export laws, including the withholding of aircraft tail numbers, providing false tail numbers, deleting references to Iran in materials sent to the US and hiding activities and documents from the US Federal Aviation Administration during audits of FSBV’s Dutch warehouse. According to the government, senior corporate managers and individuals in FSBV’s legal and compliance departments knew about and approved the various schemes to evade US sanctions.
OFAC determined that the violations were an egregious case but had been voluntarily self- disclosed by FSBV. Aggravating factors alleged by OFAC include that FSBV engaged in wilful and reckless violations of US law, FSBV knew it was violating US sanctions when shipping to customers in Iran and Sudan, FSBV is a sophisticated and experienced aerospace services provider, FSBV had no formal OFAC compliance programme and the actions of FSBV caused significant harm to the objectives of OFAC’s Iran and Sudan sanctions. Mitigating these considerations, OFAC noted that FSBV had no OFAC sanctions history, that FSBV has adopted new internal controls and that FSBV provided substantial cooperation, including by conducting an extensive internal investigation, producing clear and organized records and agreeing to toll the statute of limitations.