September 8, 2020

OFAC designates former Lebanese government ministers

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has designated two former Lebanese government ministers pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for providing material support to Hizballah, and for engaging in corruption.  According to OFAC, Yusuf Finyanus and Ali Hassan Khalil, who served in various ministerial roles between 2011 and 2020 (including Minister of Transportation and Public Works, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Public Health), received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hizballah in exchange for political favors, diverted funds from the public coffers in order to bolster political allies, helped Hizballah move money in a way that would avoid US sanctions enforcement, solicited kickbacks, and exempted a Hizballah affiliate from paying taxes.  Hizballah was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 by the US Department of State, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2001.

Following these designations, US property belonging to Finyanus and Khalil is blocked, and OFAC regulations generally prohibit transactions by US persons involving the property of blocked persons.

US Dept of the Treasury press release