Steel fabricator fined for violating Iran sanctions

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An Oklahoma manufacturer of prefabricated steel structures will pay more than $430,000 to settle dozens of apparent violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, federal officials announced this week.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, Alliance Steel of Oklahoma City outsourced engineering work to an Iranian company at least 61 times between late 2013 and late 2018.

Officials said that when Alliance was unable to handle engineering work in-house, it would outsource the excess work to subcontractors, a process overseen by the company’s then-chief engineer and vice president of engineering — who directed a “significant portion” to a company owned by his brother in Iran.

Treasury officials added that although the chief engineer oversaw the work in question, at least 12 other senior managers were aware of the transactions.

Alliance reportedly said that because it operated almost exclusively within the U.S., its executives were unfamiliar with sanctions requirements. About $1.45 million was ultimately paid to the unnamed Iranian company before Alliance hired a new CEO in Oct. 2018, who halted the practice.

The company could have faced civil penalties of more than $17 million, but Treasury Department officials noted that the company self-disclosed the violations to the agency’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, terminated its chief engineer, and took steps to prevent similar problems in the future.

The department said the case demonstrated the risk faced by companies, even those with “isolated or sporadic international business or contracting activities,” who do not ensure basic regulatory diligence and proper training of staff — including their senior executives.

Source » manufacturing

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