Our client was a spectacularly successful builder. His construction projects spanned the country. After retirement, he wanted to stay active and decided to sell used equipment around the globe. Unaware that his products were being trans-shipped to embargoed countries (such as Libya, Iran, and Syria), his transactions drew the attention of the Justice and Treasury Departments. Our client had never conducted business on a global scale and had never even heard of the laws that he was accused of violating, such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) or the economic and trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”). There was no intent to break the laws and his ignorance seemed forgivable, but the Justice Department disagreed. U.S. Customs agents seized his computers and federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas for his business records.

With our client facing over fifty months in federal prison and seven-figure economic sanctions, our firm sought the expertise of the author of the very export controls laws in question who had overseen and administered the enforcement of dozens of economic sanction programs while working at the Treasury Department. On behalf of our client, the export controls expert played a significant role in helping us secure the first ever non-prosecution agreement offered by the Justice Department in a case involving U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. Additionally, the OFAC fine that accompanied this case was reduced to zero.

Related Practice Areas

  • Crisis Management
  • Cyber Crimes
  • Disciplinary & Regulatory Actions
  • Internal Compliance Investigations
  • Public Corruption
  • White-collar Crimes