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OFAC fines paper company for illegal exports from Canada

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control fined a Connecticut-based company Thursday for exporting paper from Canada to Sudan.

BD White Birch Investment LLC, known as White Birch USA,  paid $372,465 to settle allegations that it violated U.S. trade sanctions.

OFAC said various personnel within White Birch USA and its Canadian subsidiary, White Birch Paper Canada Company NSULC, "were actively involved in discussing, arranging, and executing the export transactions to Sudan." 

White Birch USA "exhibited reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions requirements by failing to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care with regard to the apparent violations," OFAC said.

White Birch Canada personnel apparently "attempted to conceal the ultimate destination of the goods from its bank (a U.S. financial institution serving as the confirming bank on a letter of credit)." 

Supervisors and managers from Birch USA were involved in the illegal exports or knew about them.

OFAC also said White Birch USA’s compliance program was "either non-existent or inadequate at the time of the apparent violations."

Finally, White Birch USA didn't "initially cooperate with OFAC’s investigation" and "submitted materially inaccurate, incomplete, and/or misleading information to OFAC."

White Birch USA could have been fined up to $853,000.

But OFAC said it was "a non-egregious case."  

White Birch USA had no prior OFAC sanctions history. The company also put in place new compliance policies and started company-wide OFAC compliance training.

OFAC's October 5, 2017 Enforcement Information is here (pdf).


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.