A skincare company Murad founded by dermatologist Howard Murad, has agreed to pay about $3.3 million to settle allegations that it conspired to export goods and services to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions on the country. The OFAC web notice can be viewed here: https://ofac.treasury.gov/media/931761/download?inlineAccording to the U.S. Treasury Department the company allegedly entered into agreements with an Iran-based distributor to sell its products in the Middle East, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Those agreements, existing between December 2009 and 2018, resulted in 62 exports of Murad’s products and services to Iran, totaling more than $11 million, according to the settlement agreement issued by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces U.S. sanctions. The agency said the company itself disclosed the alleged violations. The OFAC order can be viewed here:https://ofac.treasury.gov/media/931766/download?inline
The U.S. has sanctions on Iran, prohibiting U.S. individuals and companies from exporting U.S. goods, technologies and services to Iran, unless exempted by OFAC. OFAC said Murad applied for specific licenses, but the company didn’t receive any from the agency that would permit these exports.
OFAC said that factors at the cosmetics company that contributed to the violations included the conduct of senior company executives, who facilitated the exports to Iran, as well as the lack of a sanctions compliance program at the company.
Under the treasury’s whistleblower program, persons with information on sanction violations may file confidential claims with FINCEN and receive upto 30% of the Government fine,
Jeffrey Newman is a whistleblower lawyer who represents whistleblowers in SEC, FINCEN and False Claims Act cases. He can be reached at 617-823-3217 or at Jeff@Jeffnewmanlaw.com.