So, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd’s settlement with OFAC mentioned that they entered into a tolling agreement with OFAC as part of the deal. In fact, most, if not all of the settlements I’ve reviewed involved a tolling agreement. Being a non-lawyer, I’ve always wondered what that is… so I looked it up.
Most crimes have a statute of limitations. If a certain amount of time elapses since the crime, you can’t be prosecuted because, literally, the law enforcement and legal communities are too late to do so.
A tolling agreement, basically, eliminates the clock. If your firm enters into a tolling agreement with a law enforcement or regulatory entity, you are agreeing that there is no statute of limitations for any act you commit during the period of the agreement. So, if OFAC discovers that Standard Chartered also committed violations of the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions that weren’t covered in the recent settlement, they can prosecute even if, normally, the statute of limitations would have run out.
So, now I know… and now you know.