Amazon Fined for Violating U.S. Sanctions on Iran, Syria, Crimea

Getty Images
July 8, 2020

Online retailer Amazon has agreed to pay the U.S. government $134,523 for violating sanctions on Iran, Syria, and Crimea, according to the Treasury Department.

The fines were issued as part of Amazon's admission that it may be civilly liable "for apparent violations of multiple [U.S.] sanctions programs" administered by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Trump administration announced on Wednesday.

"As a result of deficiencies related to Amazon's sanctions screening processes, Amazon provided goods and services to persons sanctioned by OFAC; to persons located in the sanctioned region or countries of Crimea, Iran, and Syria; and to individuals located in or employed by the foreign missions of countries sanctioned by OFAC," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Amazon also failed to report "several hundred transactions" that ran afoul of U.S. sanctions, as the company was obligated to do.

However, the Treasury Department determined that "Amazon's apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed" by the company, which indicated in disclosure notices during the last several years that it may have inadvertently run afoul of U.S. sanctions on Iran and other countries.

It appears the goods sold by Amazon were sent to individuals located in these sanctioned countries, including employees of foreign missions. Transactions of this nature are still prohibited under current U.S. sanctions.