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Williams-Sonoma Will Pay Record $3.17 Million Civil Penalty for Violating FTC "Made in USA" Order

Based upon a complaint filed by the Department of Justice on 04/22/2024, Williams-Sonoma has agreed to a settlement that requires them to pay a record $3.17 Million for repeated violations of a 2020 order by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The prior order from 2020 required the company to be truthful regarding the origin of its goods and to cease the false advertising of foreign-made products as being “Made in USA.” According to FTC Chair Lina M Kahn, “Williams-Sonoma’s deception misled consumers and harmed honest American businesses. Today’s record-setting civil penalty makes clear that firms committing Made-in-USA fraud will not get a free pass.” , click here.

Obligations of Foreign-based Persons to Comply with U.S. Sanctions and Export Control Laws

The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), issued a Tri-Seal Compliance Note: “Obligations of Foreign-based Persons to Comply with U.S. Sanctions and Export Control Laws” today providing guidance regarding the ability of the U.S. government to hold both U.S. and non-U.S. persons and companies accountable for violations of U.S. sanctions and export control laws., click here.

Penalty Issued for Israeli Antiboycott Requests from Pakistan

A Pennsylvania-based company was issued a penalty of $153,175.00 from the Bureau of Industry and Security for failing to report 43 requests from its Pakistani customer to not provide Israeli-origin products. While boycott-related requests of Israeli products are usually received from Arab League countries, the Export Administration Regulations prohibiting compliance with, and requiring the reporting of these requests are not limited to any one country or region., click here.

OFAC Settles with Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange for $466,200 for Apparent Violations of the Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions Regulations

Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE), an insurance organization based in White Plains, New York, has agreed to pay $466,200 to settle its potential civil liability for 39 apparent violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC’s) Ukraine-/Russia-Related sanctions. Between May 2018 and July 2020, PURE engaged in transactions related to four insurance policies involving a blocked Panama-based company (Medallion, Inc.) owned by Specially Designated National Viktor Vekselberg (Vekselberg). Despite being provided with this company’s ownership information in 2010, PURE paid a $7,500 claim and provided insurance coverage and collected 38 premium payments totaling $308,390 for Vekselberg’s property for more than two years. , click here.

U.S. Treasury Identifies $1 Billion Worth of Transactions Suspected of Possible Evasion of Russia-Related Export Controls

In reviewing Bank Secrecy Act filings, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury identified up to a $1 billion worth of transactions that could have evaded Russia-related export controls and sanctions between 2016 and 2022. Financial institutions that submitted the Bank Secrecy Act reports flagged the transactions as being suspicious based on its review of the transaction information, bills of lading, invoices, and additional research conducted., click here.
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