Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has agreed to pay more than $362,000 to settle allegations it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, the U.S. Treasury Department said Monday.
Kraken violated U.S. sanctions laws by failing to prevent users in Iran from accessing its platform, which allowed them to conduct transactions worth more than $1.68 million between October 2015 and June 2019, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said.
The U.S. has placed broad sanctions prohibiting exports of U.S. goods, technology and services to Iran.
OFAC said Kraken didn’t implement in a timely manner appropriate tools that identify users’ locations, including an automated internet protocol address blocking system, according to the settlement. The agency said Kraken voluntarily disclosed the violations.
Kraken will invest $100,000 in its sanctions compliance controls as part of the settlement agreement, which includes training and technical measures.
“Even before entering into this resolution, Kraken had taken a series of steps to bolster our compliance measures. This includes further strengthening control systems, expanding our compliance team and enhancing training and accountability,” Marco Santori, chief legal officer at Kraken, said in a statement.
Kraken has a sanctions and anti-money-laundering compliance program that includes screening customers for their IP address information when they sign up and daily after that to prevent users in sanctioned areas from opening accounts. Kraken failed, however, to set up IP address blocking on transaction activity across its platform, according to the Treasury Department.
The settlement comes about six months after Kraken lost its compliance chief to rival Binance. A spokeswoman said Kraken wasn’t able to comment on whether a replacement had been hired.
Kraken’s settlement is the latest enforcement action by the Treasury Department as it cracks down on the cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Inc. in October agreed to pay $29 million to the department to settle allegations that it violated sanctions and anti-money-laundering laws.
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