The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday that Apple has agreed to pay around $467,000 to settle allegations it violated U.S. sanctions by dealing with a blacklisted entity for more than two years.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant allegedly violated U.S. sanctions by hosting, selling and facilitating the transfer of software applications from a Slovenian software company that was previously blacklisted by the U.S., according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
“In 2017, we found that we had inadvertently paid a developer on [the] U.S. Treasury’s List of Specially Designated Nationals,” an Apple spokesman said in a statement Monday. “We reported it to the authorities and fully cooperated with their investigation, which has now been completed.”
Apple allegedly entered into an app development agreement with SIS d.o.o., an app developer based in Trzin, Slovenia, in 2008, according to the settlement agreement between OFAC and Apple.
In February 2015, OFAC blacklisted SIS and its majority owner Savo Stjepanovic for allegedly being part of an international steroid trafficking network. As a result of the designations, any property that SIS or Mr. Stjepanovic had an interest in were blocked, and U.S. individuals and entities were prohibited from dealing with them. In May 2017, OFAC removed Mr. Stjepanovic and SIS from its blacklist.
During the time SIS was blacklisted, Apple made 47 payments related to the company’s blocked apps, including making payments directly to SIS, OFAC said. Apple also collected about $1.2 million from customers that downloaded SIS’s apps.
MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. Treasury Department press release, verbatim:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $466,912 settlement with Apple, Inc. (“Apple”). Apple, a corporation based in Cupertino, California, has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 598 (FNKSR). Apple appears to have violated § 598.203 of the FNKSR by dealing in the property or interests in property of SIS, d.o.o. (“SIS”), a Slovenian software company previously identified on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker. Specifically, from on or about February 24, 2015 to on or about May 9, 2017, Apple hosted, sold, and facilitated the transfer of SIS’s software applications and associated content. OFAC determined that Apple voluntarily disclosed the apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case.
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury