May 17, 2019

New OFAC sanctions focus on corruption in Mexico

In an action coordinated with Mexican enforcement authorities, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has designated eleven individuals and ten entities in Mexico. The designations, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, 21 USC § 1901 et seq. and Executive Order 13818, target a magistrate judge, the former Nayarit state governor, and other individuals and entities allegedly connected with the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (“CJNG”) and the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization.  According to OFAC, the magistrate judge, Isidro Avelar Gutierrez, and the former governor, Roberto Sandoval Castaneda, received bribes from the CJNG and/or Los Cuinis.  Four of the entities designated are owned or controlled by Sandoval or one of his family members, and the other entities and individuals are alleged to be associated with money laundering for the trafficking organizations, human rights abuses, and corruption.

As a result of the designations, all US property interests of owned 50% or more by any of the designated parties are blocked, and transactions with them are prohibited.

US Dept of the Treasury press release

OFAC Kingpin Act and Global Magnitsky Designations – 17 May 2019

OFAC graphic:  CJNG & Los Cuinis | OFAC graphic:  Sandoval corruption network