In the last two years alone, the political and legal international landscapes have become more intricate than ever. Individuals from countries affected by sanctions have found various physical and technological means for evading them. Whether the intent for evading sanctions is criminal or political, personal or otherwise, the fact remains that without the right legal counsel, the worst-case scenario may be the only scenario.
Norman Spencer Law Group PC has extensive experience in working with domestic and international government bodies. We examine the hard facts and the personal nuances involved in your case, and tailor our services to you as an individual. The rise of international cybercrime and money laundering are among the most common reasons for why individuals will evade sanctions.
In a recent case [link], two Russian nationals were being indicted for their involvement in a complex scheme of money laundering, cryptocurrency violations, theft of American military and technological assets, and black market oil. The Russian nationals face a maximum of 30 years in prison. When discovered and convicted, individuals involved in sanctions evasion do not simply face a prosecuting legal team. They face multinational legal bodies, the US State Department, and many other major presences focused on their conviction.
The purposes for sanctioning individuals are the same as for sanctioning countries. One or several countries can apply a single or variety of sanctions based on social or political issues. Most common is the result of military tensions between countries, as with the current situation between Russia and the majority of Europe and the United States. By their legal definitions, sanctions create a situation where legal obedience is enforced, or the offending person or state pays constricting financial, social, commercial, or social consequences.
Depending on the type of sanction and the issue it is meant to remediate, the penalty could be as straightforward as a fine. The freezing of assets is also an immediate and direct sanction against an individual and/or their business. In this case, some individuals will attempt to hide or transfer their assets to parties unrelated to the sanction, including family members, hidden companies, or criminal schemes.
More extensive sanctions against individuals involve lawsuits, extradition, imprisonment, and all subsequent loss of assets and property. Whether sanctions are actually effective against individuals completely depends on the situation, and may cause more delays and undue suffering than actually solve any problems. When the country of which a person is a citizen has been sanctioned, their home country may enact retaliatory bans on goods or services. This could leave the individual in a confusing legal position as they try to understand how to continue living their lives while recognizing the law.
Other factors that complicate the effectiveness of a sanction involve residential visas if the sanctioned person is living outside their home country. If they run a business, the economic impact of the sanction may affect the working status of their employees.
It goes without saying, that understanding your rights – both immediately and in the long term – has to come from a legal representative who truly knows what you’re facing. Contact us to arrange a consultation. We provide services in English, Russian, and Mandarin.