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Ameron International coughs up $434,700 in OFAC fines

This settlement was for violations of the ITSR (Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations) and the CACR (Cuban Assets Control Regulations) in 2005 and 2006. The base penalty for these violations, which were non-egregious, but also not self-disclosed, was $690,000.

Here is the description of what Ameron's actions entailed:

In apparent violation of the ITSR, Ameron:

(1) approved, on twooccasions, capital expenditure requests made by Ameron B.V., a Dutch subsidiary of Ameron,and Ameron (Pte) Ltd. (“PTE”), a Singaporean subsidiary of Ameron, to purchase toolings andother equipment needed to fulfill orders for a South Pars project, located in Iran;

(2) referred toits foreign subsidiaries three business opportunities involving the sale of goods to Iran thatAmeron itself could not have directly performed as a result of the prohibitions set forth in theITSR; and

(3) provided testing services from its Burkburnett, Texas facility to PTE with reasonto know that they would be provided to Arvand Petrochemical, an entity located in Iran.

Furthermore, in apparent violation of the CACR, the Colombian branch office of Ameron’s U.S.subsidiary, American Pipe & Construction International, on two occasions sold concrete pipe toa consortium in which a Cuban company was a partner.

Here's what OFAC had to say about the comparatively small haircut off the base penalty (when you consider that the “first timer” discount would knock $170K+ off the fine by itself…):

Ameron’s reckless disregard of U.S. sanctions requirements, includingby Ameron’s management and supervisory staff; Ameron knew, or should reasonably haveknown with reasonable due diligence, that the transactions underlying the apparent violationsinvolved Iran or Cuba; two of the apparent violations (the approvals of the two capital expenditure requests) resulted in significant harm to U.S. sanctions program objectives on Iran;given the nature and size of Ameron’s operations, Ameron’s compliance program wasinadequate to address the sanctions risks that Ameron faced as a business and to prevent theapparent violations; many of the apparent violations involved transactions that were ultimatelynot consummated; Ameron has not received a penalty notice or Finding of Violation from OFACin the five years preceding the date of the transactions giving rise to the apparent violations;Ameron undertook significant remedial steps in response to the apparent violations; and Ameronprovided substantial cooperation during OFAC’s investigation, including by providing records ina clear and organized fashion and by agreeing to toll the statute of limitations.

So, reckless behavior, harm to sanctions objectives, and an inadequate sanctions program are being balanced against remediation and cooperation, the lack of an enforcement history, and the fact that not all of the underlying transactions were successfully completed.


OFAC Enforcement Action Notice


Categories: Cuba Sanctions Iranian Sanctions OFAC Updates Settlements


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