California-based cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex, has been fined $7.59 million by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury. The penalty has been imposed as part of a settlement agreement, in which Poloniex has agreed to pay the amount to settle charges related to alleged violations of multiple sanctions programs over the past decade.
OFAC accused the exchange of allowing customers from sanctioned jurisdictions including Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria to engage in online digital asset-related transactions on its platform. Poloniex reportedly took corrective action in June 2017, implementing a block on IP addresses from sanctioned regions and a sanctions compliance program in May 2015.
OFAC noted that the penalty amount reflected the fact that Poloniex’s apparent violations were not voluntarily self-disclosed and not egregious, and as per its Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, the penalty on the exchange could have been more than $99 million.