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Global Magnitsky Sanctions FAQs

  • October 26, 2018
The Global Magnitsky Act and Global Magnitsky Sanctions (GMS) are in the public discourse as a result of recent events, such as the case of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the imposition of Global Magnitsky Sanctions on two Turkish officials in August. To help the public understand the Global Magnitsky framework, MassPoint Legal and Strategy Advisory has published the Global Magnitsky Sanctions FAQs
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Senate Bill Seeks to Protect Magnitsky Law from Trump-Putin Deal

  • July 28, 2018
The introduction of legislation after the Helsinki summit to constrain the President's sanctions authority vis-a-vis Russia is not surprising. As anticipated in this MassPoint post of July 18, "the Helsinki meeting could have legal consequences, should Congress move to insert itself, beyond its standard law-making and oversight role, in sanctions and trade matters," including in the mold of CAATSA.
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Russia Summit Could Spur Congressional Activism on Sanctions, Trade

  • July 18, 2018
The meeting in Helsinki between the U.S. and Russian presidents has (as presumably everyone knows) sparked strong reactions in the United States, particularly in response to the U.S. President's performance. Beyond the politics of the moment and its aftermath, the Helsinki meeting could have legal consequences, should Congress move to insert itself, beyond its standard law-making and oversight role, in sanctions and trade matters. And not just with respect to Russia. There are a number of ways that Congress can play a greater role in sanctions and trade. Such Congressional involvement, if it materializes, would likely be designed to constrain the President, such as by restricting his ability to lift, not impose or modify sanctions through Executive action.
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The Value of Integrating News Awareness into Corporate Compliance and Risk Management

  • May 26, 2018
The case of Michael Cohen, “personal lawyer” to the U.S. President, continues to yield rich legal, compliance and risk management lessons for a growing group that includes U.S. and foreign companies, banks, lobbyists, government officials, and lawyers. Recent developments in the Cohen matter highlight how news awareness can enhance compliance and risk management for companies and others. Unlike AT&T and Novartis, most companies will not find themselves entangled in headline news of national importance, but enough of them are likely to get caught flat-footed by news about them or their business partners and peers (such as in the same industry, where news of one company’s bad behavior can lead law enforcement authorities to scrutinize peer companies in industry sweeps).
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Magnitsky Law and Sanctions

  • March 28, 2018

Magnitsky Sanctions Publications Global Magnitsky Sanctions FAQs, October 20, 2018. Global Magnitsky: The Swiss Army Knife of Sanctions, Hdeel Abdelhady, Law360, August 8, 2018. New Global Magnitsky Regulations Confirm U.S. Multinationals and Dual Citizens Have Heightened Sanctions Exposure, MassPoint PLLC, June…

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From Sergei Magnitsky to Global Magnitsky: United States Asserts Universal Jurisdiction Over Corruption and Human Rights Abuses

  • March 28, 2018
As the above description indicates, the Sergei Magnitsky Act targets persons and places tied to specific events that occurred in one country. Moreover, the Sergei Magnitsky Act can be read to have been adopted or operate as an alternative or last recourse for justice and accountability, following Congress’ findings that there was a denial of “any justice or legal remedies” to Mr. Magnitsky by “all state bodies of the Russian Federation” and “impunity since his death of state officials.” In contrast, the Global Magnitsky Act contains no analogous Congressional findings, nor does it expressly state or imply that it is a last or alternative resort where adequate legal processes to adjudicate corruption or human rights abuses are unavailable in foreign countries where relevant events took place or parties are located, or before foreign tribunals to which relevant states have submitted to jurisdiction. Instead, the Global Magnitsky Act’s default position is the applicability of U.S. sanctions (supported by “credible evidence”) without the requirement of a jurisdictional nexus with the United States. Accordingly, the Global Magnitsky Act asserts U.S. universal jurisdiction over the corrupt acts and human rights abuses it targets. EO 13818 goes much further.
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From Sergei Magnitsky to Global Magnitsky: United States Sanctions Corruption and Human Rights Abuses Globally

  • March 28, 2018
The financial penalties imposed by the Global Magnitsky Sanctions (and other U.S. sanctions programs) are powerful, as they effectively cut off sanctioned persons from the U.S. financial system and, substantially, U.S. dollar transactions. Given the size and centrality of the U.S. financial system to international commerce and payments, persons without access to U.S. banks and other constituent parts of the U.S. financial system are largely shut out of the international financial system (this assumes, of course, effective enforcement and compliance by U.S. authorities, banks and international financial system participants). Put in context, the United States’ Global Magnitsky Act and sanctions program are singular in their force. Other countries have adopted versions of a Magnitsky Act (including Canada, which has imposed sanctions under its law), but none of these other Magnitsky frameworks rival the potential sweep and impact of the United States’ Magnitsky framework.
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U.S. Magnitsky Sanctions Are a Powerful Weapon Against Corruption and Human Rights Abuse

  • March 27, 2018
EO 13818 directly targets foreign government officials and private parties who commit or enable human rights abuses and certain corrupt acts. The Order also employs extraordinary theories of liability. For example, EO 13818 holds current and former “leaders” of foreign entities (government and private) strictly and vicariously liable—and thus sanctionable—for the corrupt acts, during a leader’s tenure, of their entities. The Order also imputes the sanctioned status of a blocked private or government entity to its current or former “leaders,” if the entity was blocked “as a result of activities related to the leader’s or official’s tenure.” Additionally, EO 13818 treats as a corrupt act the transfer or facilitation of the transfer of corrupt proceeds by current or former foreign government officials and “persons acting for or on their behalf.” These three bases for liability, among others, are unique to EO 13818—they are not provided for by the Global Magnitsky Act.
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Ukraine/Russia Sanctions: OFAC Authorizes Derivatives Linked to Prohibited Debt and Equity Under OFAC Directives 1, 2 or 3

  • November 29, 2017
As discussed in an earlier MassPoint Business Update on OFAC Directive 1, it was expected that OFAC would issue, by November 28, 2017, a general license authorizing derivative transactions in prohibited debt and equity (see table below), consistent with the debt maturity limitations imposed by CAATSA. General License 1B does not authorize primary transactions by U.S. persons (wherever located) or in the United States in assets subject to the prohibitions of Directives 1, 2, or 3.
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