Poloniex, a cryptocurrency exchange, has agreed to pay $7.6 million to settle a civil case brought by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) for more than 65,000 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. OFAC said that Poloniex allowed users in the sanctioned jurisdictions of Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria to conduct over $15 million worth of digital asset trades, deposits, and withdrawals between January 2014 and November 2019. Poloniex allowed users in sanctioned jurisdictions to conduct digital asset trades, deposits and withdrawals, leading to more than 65,000 apparent violations of U.S. sanctions against five countries. The violations were attributed to Poloniex’s failure to retroactively screen users who had registered between its launch in January 2014 and May 2015 when it established a sanctions compliance program.
However, the violations were not voluntarily self-disclosed nor deemed egregious, according to OFAC. Circle acquired Poloniex in 2018, and OFAC’s investigation concluded that the firm’s compliance measures had further improved.