Treasury Department Fines ExxonMobil for Russia Sanctions Violations

The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil Corporation $2 million for violating Russia sanctions related to Ukraine, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of the global oil and gas conglomerate.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed the civil penalty after concluding ExxonMobil did not voluntarily disclose the violations, which “constitute an egregious case,” it said in a statement.

Treasury said executives of ExxonMobil’s U.S. subsidiaries signed legal documents with Igor Sechin, President of Rosneft, a Russia state-owned oil giant that describes itself as “the world’s largest publicly traded petroleum company.”  Sechin is on Treasury’s list of “Blocked Persons.”

The documents, which Treasury said ExxonMobil failed to “voluntarily self-disclose,” were related to oil and gas projects in Russia.

The agency said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for the sanctions by dealing with Sechin, a person they knew was on the U.S. blacklist.  The Treasury Department said ExxonMobil caused “significant harm” to the sanctions program.

The violations occurred “Between on or about May 14, 2014 and on or about May 23, 2014,” when Tillerson was CEO.

Tillerson established close relations with Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, while he was CEO of ExxonMobil.

While at ExxonMobil, Tillerson generally opposed sanctions because he thought they were usually ineffective.

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