Crédit Agricole reaches settlement agreement for USD 787.3 million after US sanctions violations

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“Crédit Agricole”) has reached a settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) for violations of US sanctions laws. Under the settlement agreement it was agreed to pay fines totaling USD787.3 million, dismiss an implicated managing director, and employ a compliance consultant for one year. Of the total figure, USD 385 million will be paid to the New York State Department of Financial Services, USD156 million each to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the New York County District Attorney’s Office under deferred prosecution agreements, and USD90.3 million as a civil penalty issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Crédit Agricole will be subject to criminal prosecution if it fails to terminate its unlawful activity and to comply with the terms of the agreements.

According to the statement of the US Department of Justice, which was involved in the joint investigation into Crédit Agricole, between August 2003 and September 2008 Crédit Agricole “knowingly and wilfully moved approximately USD312 million through the US financial system on behalf of sanctioned entities located in Sudan, Burma, Iran, and Cuba” using “deceptive practices that concealed the involvement of banks designated as Specially Designated Nationals and other corporate entities”. By omitting references to US-sanctioned parties in certain payment messages, Crédit Agricole prevented US financial institutions from reviewing the transactions for compliance with OFAC regulations.
The settlement agreement can be found here.
The official statement of the US Department of Justice can be found here.

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