Sequoia Legal is an OFAC law firm in Denver, Colorado. We offer legal assistance and advice relating to international business transactions to a variety of institutions. Our attorneys provide legal counsel on matters related to OFAC sanctions compliance to help international organizations manage risk and optimize international business practices.Schedule FREE Consultation
The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for regulating U.S. economic trade sanctions with national security as the primary concern.
Types of sanctions regulated by OFAC address international financial dealings with foreign countries, individuals, and entities that are considered to be of interest to U.S. foreign policy and national security.
OFAC regulations must be taken seriously by anyone engaging in international financial transactions because they’re strongly enforced; violations come with significant penalties including criminal charges, decades of prison time, millions of dollars in fines, and the loss of export privileges.
OFAC sanctions frequently undergo changes and amendments due to national security threats and foreign policy changes. It’s crucial to continually monitor whether your global business practices are within the shifting bounds of economic trade sanctions.
Sequoia Legal is a Denver law firm that deftly handles compliance with OFAC U.S. economic sanctions, working with organizations to create programs and educate employees on how to avoid committing OFAC violations.
With experienced OFAC attorneys, full attention can be given to global business operations and growth without accidental compliance violations and their accompanying penalties.
Sequoia Legal helps businesses optimize international economic transactions while minimizing the risk of committing a U.S. trade sanctions violation.
We perform a variety of services that help you comply with OFAC restrictions, and we minimize the time, expense, and trouble involved if you do find yourself running afoul of any regulations.
We work with organizations to establish internal OFAC programs. These programs ensure that company policies are in alignment with sanctions compliance and that employees are educated on best practices for avoiding accidental violations.
When an organization knows or suspects that an OFAC violation has occurred, our experienced OFAC compliance attorneys will promptly and thoroughly work to help you achieve penalty mitigation.
Sequoia Legal helps your organization handle all OFAC-related matters to efficiently and effectively maintain sanctions compliance while operating a global business.
We can minimize the impact of OFAC restrictions on your company by helping you obtain both general licenses and specific licenses. General licenses are exceptions within the sanctions regulations themselves, while specific licenses require special permission from OFAC.
The SDN List, officially known as the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, is a list that you don’t want to be on. It’s also a list of companies and individuals that you could get into trouble with for doing business. It is possible to be removed from this list, and we can assist in that process.
Banks will freeze assets, usually money, if they believe that the blocked assets are part of a transaction that violates OFAC sanctions. Sometimes these transactions are blocked in error. It is often possible for us to unblock frozen assets by obtaining a specific license from OFAC.
OFAC may issue you a subpoena requiring you to provide information about a particular transaction. This can be a dangerous moment for you, and you must respond in an appropriate manner. We can help you do that.
You cannot comply with the regulation if you do not understand its requirements. It would be a shame for your company to be sanctioned merely for lack of knowledge of what the law requires. We can counsel you on sanctions compliance matters and can explain the relevant regulation in simple, understandable terms.
You might face OFAC action due to:
We can help you fight back.
If your company frequently engages in international trade, it is easy to inadvertently violate OFAC restrictions. In fact, an internal audit might reveal a violation that occurred months or even years in the past. In these cases, it is sometimes best to report your own company to OFAC to receive a lighter penalty. If you decide to do this, we can help you do it right.
International and cross-border contractual agreements and economic exchanges must adhere to the terms of OFAC sanctions. Lack of transactional oversight or a poorly crafted international contract can easily lead an organization to violate U.S. economic sanctions.
We provide legal advice on how to keep your transactional and international contracts in compliance with OFAC sanctions.
Any organization involved in manufacturing, selling, or transporting goods and services that are shipped out of the country is subject to stringent export control regulations like Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
We provide legal advice and help create export control programs that ensure a company’s exports comply with federal regulations.
Our OFAC compliance lawyers work with organizations of all sizes to make sure that every global transaction is compliance. For legal advice with U.S. economic and trade sanctions, call Sequoia Legal today.
OFAC addresses matters like terrorism threats, international drug smuggling, and other topics that might seem irrelevant to the average organization engaging in legitimate international business. However, it’s a mistake to underestimate how OFAC laws apply to your business.
OFAC requirements apply to all US persons, including US companies, US citizens, and lawful permanent residents. OFAC issues often arise in the context of a business that:
If you are engaged in any type of foreign trade or economic exchange, your company is subject to OFAC’s authority — and also OFAC noncompliance penalties. If your organization falls under OFAC regulatory administration, it’s imperative that you have a strong internal compliance program in place to prevent the costly effects of an OFAC violation, and to reduce penalties in the event of a violation.
OFAC violations are not taken lightly by the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the Department of Justice. The two primary forms of OFAC enforcement actions are monetary fines and criminal sentencing for the individuals responsible for the violations.
Even when a violation of OFAC restrictions involves a minor transaction, fines can be levied for many times the value of the original violation. OFAC doesn’t issue fines as restitution for a violation but rather as a form of deterrence. This means that even a small error can bring costly consequences.
OFAC fines can reach millions of dollars per violation, while sentencing can bring prison terms of up to 30 years for the offending individuals. Some cases involving multiple violations have seen businesses hit with aggregate fines of over $1 billion. OFAC may refer a case to the Department of Justice under certain circumstances.
OFAC maintains a list of targeted countries impacted by sanctions under the authority of the United States government. The OFAC countries are targeted because of concerns over national security.
Organizations engaged in trade with certain countries subject to heightened OFAC sanctions must operate with caution and ongoing vigilance to avoid serious OFAC enforcement penalties. Countries subject to heightened OFAC sanctions include but are not limited to:
Remember that OFAC sanctions lists could change at any moment. Remember also that it is not only nations that are subject to sanctions but also certain individual citizens, regimes, and companies and organizations identified by OFAC. These sanctions may apply to your company as well, by preventing you from doing business with any of these parties.
Our OFAC sanctions lawyers help Denver organizations achieve positive results in all matters related to OFAC policy, from compliance programs to violations counsel. Learn how we can help you by calling Sequoia Legal today.
Because of the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy, our firm serves a wide variety of clients operating in virtually every sector of the economy. The types of companies we work with include:
This is only an abbreviated list of the types of companies and industries we work with on OFAC-related matters and other issues related to sanctions compliance.
You likely are well aware of the complexities and pitfalls involved in the legal side of being a business owner.Meet Your Attorneys
Our Denver export compliance law firm has extensive experience with export administration regulations, the FCPA and international trade and can assist clients with developing export control and FCPA compliance programs. We ensure each client follows appropriate FCPA, export control compliance and foreign trade regulations for their industry, and our clients hail from nearly every industry sector. The attorneys at Sequoia Legal have successfully assisted and provided continued guidance for several international companies regarding the internal implementation of FCPA and export compliance plans. These companies employ and engage in various transactions with individuals and companies around the world. To ensure continued compliance with US sanctions laws and regulations following the implementation of the FCPA and export compliance programs, Sequoia Legal has conducted company audits, interviews and internal FCPA training programs. Due to the diligence of the Sequoia Legal team, zero issues or enforcement actions have been taken by the US government against Sequoia's clients for any FCPA or export related matter. An investment in a Sequoia Legal compliance plan has saved our clients time, focus and money.
Companies routinely face complex situations when exporting or doing business internationally. There is a complex set of laws and regulations applicable to the persons, places and products involved in international business. Businesses sometimes end up violating or running afoul of these highly technical and complicated rules. Sequoia Legal has represented various US and foreign companies in conducting internal investigations relating to suspected violations of US sanctions and export controls. Following completion of these internal investigations, where necessary, we have assisted clients in voluntarily disclosing suspected violations to US authorities and have obtained favorable outcomes, including reduced penalties or no penalties. This has allowed our clients to sleep at night and continue to expand and do business internationally in compliance with applicable US law.
Our team at Sequoia Legal regularly helps sellers and buyers of businesses navigate the intricacies of the purchase and sale process to help them achieve their dreams. In this case, Sequoia Legal was brought on by the owners of a local technology company in a sale to a strategic acquirer with a total transaction value in the multiple millions. We successfully negotiated transaction agreements, including due diligence with the buyer and post-closing employment agreements, and closed the transaction within an expedited 30 days period. As part of this process, we helped educate the sellers through their first transaction and work through the emotional roller coaster of selling your business.
And Finding It! Sequoia Legal regularly helps search funds and individuals find, acquire and successfully build new businesses. Our client was a search funder focused on acquiring a company in the professional services industry. We assisted in negotiating several LOI's that fell through, but as a result of that process, we found the right acquisition fit and assisted our client in executing an LOI, conducting due diligence, structuring the deal, negotiating the purchase agreement, working with the SBA and completing a deal that included a cash payment, SBA loan and seller financing with a variable note that reduced if certain revenue metrics were not achieved. We then assisted our client with several "tuck-in" acquisitions to further augment and accelerate the client's goals and exponentially grow revenue.
International trade law is one of the most complex areas of law in existence. Sequoia Legal is an OFAC law group with the experience you need to optimize international business exchanges without fear of violating trade sanctions.
When you choose to work with Sequoia Legal, you benefit from:
Our trade sanction and OFAC licensing lawyers are qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced. We offer decades of combined experience in successfully resolving the kinds of problems you are likely to need help with. We have successfully resolved OFAC problems for numerous clients working in a variety of sectors of the economy.
We ran into a hit on the SDN list. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, and Sequoia Legal helped us resolve the issue in a quick and cost-efficient manner. Very professional and knowledgeable.
A couple of years ago, our company had no compliance program to speak of, and we were barely aware of the existence of OFAC regulations. Sequoia Legal helped us get our house in order, and we have had no problems since then.
We contacted Sequoia Law after an internal audit revealed that our company had inadvertently committed two substantial OFAC violations over the past two years. We chose the path of voluntary disclosure to OFAC and received lenient penalties. Many thanks to Sequoia for their adroit handling of the matter.
At Sequoia Legal, our mission is to bring Big Law experience to small and medium-sized businesses in Colorado.Call us today at (303)-476-2851 or contact us to learn how we can provide legal counsel on all matters related to U.S. economic trade sanctions and OFAC.
7355 E. Orchard Rd., Suite 375 Greenwood Village, CO 80111
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Licensed in New York, Colorado, & Alaska with an international flair
There are five major types of OFAC sanctions:
Each of these sanctions targets different parties for different purposes.
If your potential customer shows up on the SDN list, you must conduct an investigation. It could be a false match. For example, it could be as simple as a coincidence between your customer’s name and the name of a company that is on the SDN list. If the hit is legitimate, however, you need to terminate all dealings with the listed party and consult an attorney regarding mitigation requirements.
If OFAC or a bank blocks or freezes a transaction, you need to file an unblocking application. This is a complex and burdensome process with no guarantee of success. We can help.