Treasury: US digital commerce company Payoneer pays $ 1.4 million for violation of sanctions
A US-based digital commerce company has agreed to pay the Treasury Department $ 1.4 million as part of a settlement for more than 2,000 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs, the agency said on Friday. in a press release.
The Treasury said that Payoneer Inc., a New York-based, publicly traded online money transmitter, processes payments for parties located in countries under U.S. sanctions, including Iran, Sudan, Syria and the Crimean region in Ukraine.
The agency said Payoneer also processed 19 payments on behalf of sanctioned individuals who are on the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) list of Specially Designated Nationals and Stranded Persons.
Payoneeer had 2,260 apparent sanctions violations and settled with the Treasury Department for $ 1,400,301.40.
“This action highlights that money services businesses – like all financial service providers – are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage in unauthorized transactions prohibited by OFAC sanctions, such as transactions with stranded people or goods, or engaging in prohibited commercial transactions with jurisdictions and regions subject to sanctions, ”the Treasury said in its enforcement report.
The Treasury said weaknesses in Payoneer’s sanctions compliance program – related to screening, testing, auditing and review procedures for transactions – have allowed sanctioned persons and persons in sanctioned jurisdictions to engage in transactions worth more than $ 800,000.
The violations took place between 2013 and 2018.
The $ 1.4 million settlement has been reduced by a basic penalty of almost $ 4 million for these types of penalties.
The Treasury called all the violations “not flagrant,” but said only 19 violations were voluntarily self-disclosed, while 2,241 were not.
The Treasury said Payoneer had taken steps to mitigate the deficiencies that led to the violations, including firing its compliance officer, retraining its compliance staff and putting in place increased controls to ensure that violations do not happen, among others.
A spokesperson for Payoneer said the company takes its compliance responsibilities “very seriously” and maintains “a strong regulatory compliance program, which we are committed to continuously improving.”
“Upon discovery of these incidents, which were not glaring in nature and occurred between 2013 and 2018, Payoneer took immediate action, including significant investments in its technology and human resources to further strengthen our compliance program,” said the spokesperson.
“Payoneer’s mission is to bring financial empowerment to businesses and entrepreneurs around the world through their participation in the digital economy. We will continue to invest to ensure that we accomplish this mission in a secure and compliant manner. “
—Update at 3:16 p.m.