3M has agreed to pay more than $9.6 million to settle a probe by the U.S. Treasury Department into sales to an Iranian entity controlled by the country’s law enforcement forces.
Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said that between September 2016 and September 2018, a 3M subsidiary allegedly sold reflective license plate sheeting to a sanctioned Iranian entity, police foundation Bonyad Taavon Naja. The sales occurred even after outside due diligence staff had flagged potential problems, OFAC said.
3M came forward to disclose the conduct and cooperated throughout the investigation, OFAC said, adding the company had fired several employees and cut off a Germany-based intermediary involved in the sales.
3M East, the Switzerland-based subsidiary, sent 43 shipments of the product to the German reseller knowing the products were destined for a customer in Iran, the agency alleged. The transactions covered by the alleged violations were valued at around $10 million.
The agency added that one U.S. person employed by a 3M overseas subsidiary was involved in the sales. In total, the settlement covers 54 alleged violations of sanctions placed on Iran.
3M in response to the settlement said that the company in 2019 determined a small number of employees had committed these violations, but that it promptly disclosed the matter to the government and disclosed it in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that year.
The company said it conducted an investigation, had cooperated with the U.S. government, “and took appropriate corrective actions, including personnel actions and policy changes for future compliance.”
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.