By Erik Wasson - 08/25/11 06:55 PM EDT
The Treasury Department announced Thursday that JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) Bank has agreed to pay a fine of $88.3 million for violating sanctions placed on current and past rogue regimes in Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Liberia.
The settlement closes an investigation into a number of actions the Treasury called “egregious” and which could have resulted in much higher penalties.
Between Dec. 12, 2005, and March 31, 2006, the bank processed 1,711 wire transfers totaling approximately $178.5 million involving Cuban nationals in violation of U.S. law. JPMorgan was caught after another unnamed bank alerted the government.
In 2009, JPMorgan made a loan involving a ship belonging to Iran Shipping Lines, a violation of Iran sanctions. The bank knew of the violation but delayed notifying the government until it was about to receive repayment of the loan.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control “determined that JPMC is a very large, commercially sophisticated financial institution, and that JPMC managers and supervisors acted with knowledge of the conduct constituting the apparent violations and recklessly failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care with respect to JPMC's U.S. sanctions obligations,” Treasury said in a statement.