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美国法院维持原判:中资金融机构拒绝提供交易信息案之解读 2019-08-02

 

 

 
 

当地时间2019年7月30日,美国联邦哥伦比亚特区巡回法院(以下简称“巡回法院”)在第19-5068号判决中对美国联邦哥伦比亚特区地区法院(以下简称“地区法院”)就三家中资金融机构实行传票一案中的两项判决维持原判(以下简称“上诉判决”)。这三家金融机构之前收到美国大陪审团传票和行政传票,被要求配合针对某香港企业协助朝鲜洗钱的调查并提供证据。目前,三家金融机构均未向美国提交相关证据材料,因为一旦提交,会直接违反中国银行保密相关法律法规。根据上诉判决,三家金融机构因为违反前述传票要求,拒绝提供相关交易信息,而必须从2019年8月8日开始,按照5万美金/日的标准缴纳罚款。调查细节尚未公开,但值得注意的是,三家中资金融机构并不是直接调查对象,而仅仅是以证人身份配合调查。

 

On July 30, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “D.C. Circuit”) In re: Sealed Case (No. 19-5068) (the “Circuit Ruling”) affirmed two rulings by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the “D.C. District Court”) in the subpoena case involving three unnamed Chinese banks (the “Banks”).[1] The Banks had each been subpoenaed for documents relating to a U.S. investigation into a Hong Kong entity that is accused of laundering money for North Korea’s weapon of mass destruction program. The Banks have yet to turn over the requested documents because doing so would require them to violate Chinese banking secrecy laws. As a result, the Banks face fines of $50,000 a day starting on August 8, 2019. While the exact details of the investigation are still under seal, it is important to note that the Banks are not under investigation and are only involved as witnesses.

 
 

 

一、背景 

Background

 

美国政府正在调查一家目前已经停止运营的香港空壳企业(以下简称“空壳企业”)。美国财政部海外资产控制办公室(以下简称“OFAC”)认定该空壳企业为朝鲜大规模杀伤性武器项目洗钱,将其列为制裁实体。一旦被OFAC列为制裁实体,空壳企业在美资产会被查封,意味着该空壳企业的资产不能“转移、支付、出口、撤资或以其他方式交易。”该空壳企业目前因三项罪名被大陪审团调查,包括洗钱、违反《国际经济紧急权利法案》项下的行政命令和违反《银行保密法》。针对该空壳企业的调查细节依然没有公开。

 

There is an ongoing American investigation into a now-defunct Hong Kong front company (the “Front Company”) that was acting on behalf of an unspecified North Korea entity. The Front Company was “designated” by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) for allegedly laundering money to help finance North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program. As a designated entity, the Front Company’s property interests in the United States are blocked, meaning that the Front Company’s property may not be “transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.” The Front Company is subject to a grand jury investigation for three related crimes: (1) money laundering; (2) violating an order issued under the International Economic Emergency Powers Act; and (3) violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The exact details of the investigation into the Front Company are still under seal.

 

在判决中,三家金融机构(以下简称“金融机构一、金融机构二和金融机构三”)因为空壳企业通过这三家金融机构在美国的账户累计进行105,339,483.59美金的交易而被卷入此案。三家金融机构因此收到传票,被要求提交与空壳企业有关的交易信息,以配合针对空壳企业的调查。金融机构一和金融机构二在美国设有分支机构,因此收到的是大陪审团传票。金融机构三未在美设有分支机构而只有代理账户,因此收到了依据《爱国者法案》(31 U.S.C. §5318(k)(3)(A)(i))签发的行政传票。在此案中,三家金融机构收到的大陪审团传票和行政传票的内容非常相似,都要求三家金融机构提交空壳企业的所有交易记录和疑似相关账户信息。

 

The Banks – referred to as Bank One, Bank Two, and Bank Three in the court rulings – have been drawn into this case as they were responsible for conducting transactions on behalf of the Front Company totaling $105,339,483.59. To aid in the investigation into the Front Company, the Banks were served subpoenas for information relating to the Front Company and its transactions. Bank One and Bank Two, both of which maintain branches in the United States, received grand jury subpoenas. Bank Three, which only has a correspondent account in the United States, received a subpoena under 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(A)(i), a codified section of the Patriot Act. The contents of the subpoenas were similar, requesting all records including relating to the Front Company and an account suspected as being used by the Front Company.[2]

 

传票是于2017年12月向三家金融机构发出的,但是截至目前,三家金融机构因中国法律的相关限制性规定,仍未直接向美国提供相关证据材料。在一审期间,三家金融机构曾提出替代方案,即通过《中华人民共和国政府和美利坚合众国政府关于刑事司法协助的协定》规定的渠道,向美国提供相关证据,但因为各种原因,截止目前,相关司法协助程序仍未完成。

 

The subpoenas were issued in December 2017 and the Banks have not submitted the requested documents as direct compliance with subpoenas would require them to violate Chinese law. Instead, the Banks have offered that they will comply if a request for the documents was made through the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

 

二、法院判决

The Court Rulings

 

在地区法院就大陪审团是否可以向在美中资金融机构发出传票,要求其提供交易信息、配合刑事调查的事项作出的判决(以下简称“一审判决”)中,地区法院首席法官Beryl A. Howell要求三家金融机构必须遵守这三张传票。Howell法官对国际司法礼让进行了详细的分析,以决定是否要求三家中资金融机构违反中国法律来遵守美国法律。在分析的过程中,Howell法官考虑了7点因素:1)调查所需信息的重要性;2)所需的信息是否足够具体;3)信息的来源;4)获得信息的其他手段;5)冲突中他国的利益;6)要求相关方遵守美国法律的困难程度;和7)善意。在对这7项因素进行平衡分析后,Howell法官得出结论,这些因素支撑实行传票,要求三家中资金融机构配合调查。Howell法官还指定了三家金融机构提交证据的期限。

 

In the first ruling In re Grand Jury Investigation of Possible Violations Of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 And 50 U.S.C. § 1705 (Nos. 18-175, 18-176 and 18-177 (BAH))(March 18, 2019, unsealed April 30, 2019)(the “Initial Ruling”), Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the D.C. District Court ordered the Banks to comply with subpoenas. Judge Howell conducted an international comity analysis to determine whether it was reasonable to order the Banks to violate Chinese law to comply with American law. In doing so, she balanced the seven following factors: importance to the investigation of the requested information; specificity of the request for information; origin of the information; alternative means of obtaining the information; interests of sovereigns in conflict; hardship on the party facing conflicting obligations; and good faith. She concluded that on balance, the factors supported ordering the Banks to comply with the subpoenas. She then set a deadline to do so.

 

三家金融机构期限届满后仍未提交相关证据,Howell法官认为三家金融机构构成了民事藐视法庭。在认定三家金融机构构成民事藐视法庭的判决(以下简称“藐视法庭判决”)中,Howell法官要求拒绝配合调查的三家金融机构缴纳5万美金/日的罚款,直到其配合调查为止。因为三家金融机构已就一审判决提起上诉,所以Howell法官将罚款暂停,直到上诉法院维持一审判决7个工作日后再开始计算。因此,在上诉判决作出后,如果三家中资金融机构依然不提交传票所要求的证据,那么从2019年8月8日开始,将必须按照前述标准缴纳罚款。

 

When the Banks failed to meet the deadline set in the Initial Ruling, Judge Howell found the Banks in civil contempt of court. Writing in the second In re Grand Jury Investigation of Possible Violations Of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 And 50 U.S.C. § 1705 (Nos. 18-175, 18-176 and 18-177 (BAH))(April 10, 2019, unsealed May 15, 2019)(the “Contempt Ruling”), Judge Howell again ordered the Banks to comply with the subpoenas and gave the Banks contempt of court fines of $50,000 per day until they complied. As the Banks were appealing the Initial Ruling, Judge Howell stayed the fines until seven business days after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the Initial Ruling. This means that the Banks will begin paying fines of $50,000 a day on August 8, 2019 if they fail to submit the subpoenaed information before then

 

上诉法院的三名法官David S. Tatel,Patricia A. Millett和Cornelia T. L. Pillard组成合议庭审理本案。上诉判决具体内容尚未完全公开,但法院在已经公布的内容中认为:“根据本判决书中的法律分析,对特区联邦地区法院的藐视法庭判决维持原判。”目前,原被告双方仍在对判决需要保密的部分进行处理,因此上诉判决全文尚未公布,根据既往经验,大家预计上诉判决会在未来几周内公布。

 

The appeal was heard by Judges David S. Tatel, Patricia A. Millett and Cornelia T.L. Pillard of the D.C. Circuit Court. In releasing the still sealed Circuit Ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court stated that “The District Court’s contempt orders against all three Banks appealed from in these causes are hereby affirmed, for the reasons in the accompanying opinion.” Following redactions submitted by each side, the Circuit Ruling written by Judge Tatel will be unsealed. Based on the previous rulings, we expect it to be unsealed sometime in the next few weeks.

 

上诉判决细节尚未公布,大家还不能提供详尽的法律分析,但三家金融机构二审败诉是大家之前已经预测到的结果。联邦巡回法院在上诉案件中仅仅审核联邦地区法院的法律适用是否正确,除非地区法院在事实认定方面出现严重错误,一般而言巡回法院会认可地区法院查明的事实。

 

Although we are not yet privy to the legal analysis underlying their decision, this was the expected outcome. This is because circuit courts are only concerned with determining whether the trial court applied the law correctly. Unless there is an overwhelming error in a factual determination by the district court, a circuit court accepts them as is.

 

三、金融机构目前的选项

The Banks’ Options

 

根据巡回法院判决结果,大家接下来分析三家金融机构目前可能采取的应对措施以及每种措施的法律后果。当然这些措施并不完全冲突,大家也希翼三家金融机构可以灵活选用。这些措施包括但不限于:1)上诉至美国联邦最高法院;2)遵守传票;3)拒绝实行传票;以及4)与中国司法部合作,通过国际刑事司法互助程序配合调查。

 

In light of the Circuit Ruling, we examine below some of the options the Banks have going forward and highlight some of the consequences each choice could result in. The options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and we expect the Banks will proceed with a number of options. These options are: 1) appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States; 2) comply with the American subpoenas; 3) refuse to comply with the American subpoenas; and/or 4) work with China’s Ministry of Justice for assistance in providing evidence under international legal assistance mechanisms.

 

1)上诉至美国联邦最高法院

1) Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States

 

这三家金融机构目前依然可以上诉,即上诉至美国联邦最高法院,而且继续上诉对三家金融机构的不利影响甚微。特别是金融机构三,如其希翼推迟美国政府施加《爱国者法案》项下的处罚,即关闭其美金结算账户,那么上诉至联邦最高法院非常关键。

 

The Banks have one more appellate option – an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. There is very little downside to another appeal, and it is crucial for Bank Three to stay if they wish to delay provisions under 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(A)(i), which allows for the termination of a foreign bank’s correspondent accounts if the bank fails to comply with a subpoena or contest it before a U.S. court.

 

美国联邦最高法院并没有关于“上诉权”的规定,也没有义务审理每一起上诉案件。三家金融机构必须向联邦最高法院提交复审案件请求书(“writ of certiorari”)以申请上诉。只有最高法院认为该案值得复审时,才会审理该案。一般而言,最高法院只会审理对国家具有重要意义的案件、若干联邦巡回法院判决冲突的案件以及涉及重大新型法律问题的案件。只有当联邦最高法院的9位法官中至少4位法官同意,法院才会审理。一般而言,每年联邦最高法院会从超过7000份申请书中选取100到150起案件进行审理。法院同意审理后,9位法官中至少有5位法官同意才可以暂停实行巡回法院的判决。大家认为,美国联邦最高法院不太可能受理此案,因为巡回法院的法律分析非常直白明确,且目前没有若干联邦巡回法院就该问题作出不一致的判决。即使联邦最高法院决定审理此案,也很难暂停实行藐视法庭判决。正如Howell法官在藐视法庭判决中指出的一样,如果穷尽整个上诉程序,会让案件超过大陪审团的2年存续时限,导致藐视法庭判决无效。

 

There is no “right of appeal” to the U.S. Supreme Court and therefore no guarantee that their case will be heard. To appeal, the Banks must file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court by filing a “writ of certiorari.” The Supreme Court will only grant the writ of certiorari if they deem the case worthy of hearing. Generally, this is because the case is of national significance, there are conflicting decisions between the federal circuit courts, and/or the case has precedential value. Four out of the nine justices must vote to accept to hear the case. If the case is accepted, support of five of the justices are needed to issue a stay pending hearing. We think it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would accept the case as the underlying legal issues are rather straight forward and there is no split among the circuit courts regarding those legal issues. Even if the Supreme Court accepted the case, it is unlikely that the contempt order would be stayed. As Justice Howell pointed out in her Contempt Ruling, waiting for the entire appellate process to finish would exceed the grand jury’s two-year limit rendering her contempt order meaningless.

 

2)遵守和实行美国传票

2)  Comply with the American Subpoenas

 

三家金融机构目前的第二个选项是遵守并实行这三张传票。金融机构二曾告知地区法院,其在收到传票后已经采取行动搜集和保存相关文件。金融机构二表示,文件大概会在数天内搜集完毕。金融机构一则曾经预测,搜集相关文件大约需要30天。

 

The second option for the Banks is to just comply with the American subpoenas. Bank Two had told the District Court that it had “took steps to collect and preserve documents” shortly after receiving the subpoena. Bank Two said the subpoenaed documents could be “collected in days.” Bank One “estimated” that the requested documents “could be collected within 30 days.”

 

虽然实行传票、配合调查可以停止缴纳罚金,但是此种做法可能违反一系列中国法律法规,包括但不限于《商业银行法》第73条、《反洗钱法》第32条、《网络安全法》第64条和第66条、《征信业管理条例》第40条和《人民币单位存款管理办法》第28条,并导致高达人民币50万元的罚款和其他法律责任。值得注意的是,禁止中资金融机构向美国直接提供证据的最主要法律之一《中华人民共和国国际刑事司法协助法》并没有规定如何对违规提交证据的中资金融机构进行处罚。

 

While compliance is the incentivized option as it would prevent the accrual of contempt fines or immediately halt them, it would likely result in the violation of a series of Chinese laws and regulations. This includes, among others, Article 73 of China’s Commercial Banking Law, Article 40 of the Regulation on Credit Investigation, Article 28 of the Corporate Deposit Regulations, Article 32 of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, and Articles 64 & 66 of China’s Cybersecurity Law. Violation of these laws could result in a number of consequences, including fines of up to RMB 500,000. It is noteworthy that one of the main laws preventing Chinese banks from submitting evidence directly to U.S. authorities – the newly passed International Criminal Judicial Assistance Law – does not provide any punishment for its violations.

 

而且,三家金融机构直接向美国提交证据还可能引发来自美国的更严重的调查和执法风险。目前三家金融机构仅仅是刑事调查过程中的证人,而如果提交的证据显示,这三家金融机构处理案涉交易时明显疏忽或故意违反美国制裁规定,可能导致三家金融机构从证人转为调查对象,从而面临更为严重的调查、执法、诉讼以及公关危机。

 

The Banks also face a number of risks if they comply with the subpoenas. If the requested documents show that the Banks were negligent in their compliance screenings or violated U.S. sanctions on purpose, they may be exposed to additional investigations, enforcement actions, litigation, and/or public exposure if they cooperate. As we mentioned before, the Banks are at this point only witnesses in the grand jury investigation.

 

3)   拒绝实行美国传票

3) Refuse to Comply with the American Subpoenas

 

因为藐视法庭罚款的计算截止到大陪审团解散之时,所以三家金融机构可以拒绝遵守传票并拖延至大陪审团解散。大陪审团任期最长为18个月,可能延期6个月,一般最长为24个月。虽然信息尚未完全公开,大家无从得知本案大陪审团任期起始日,但是大陪审团传票于2017年12月签发,因此,大陪审团最晚将于2019年12月解散。

 

The three banks could refuse to comply with the subpoenas and wait until the grand jury expires since the contempt fines are set to expire when the grand jury expires. Grand jury terms are limited to 18 months with the potential for a six-month extension for a total of 24 months. Although we don’t know the specific date of when the grand jury was initiated as information is still under seal, the subpoenas were sent in December 2017. Therefore, the grand jury will at latest finish by December 2019.

 

等待大陪审团解散的问题在于:作出藐视法庭判决的Howell法官可能会意识到,三家金融机构均试图拖延至大陪审团解散,并因此提高藐视法庭罚款的数额。在藐视法庭判决中,她指出: 她很清楚这种情况产生的可能性,因此如果三家金融机构不能遵守传票,那么她将提高藐视法庭罚款数额。在美国,本案罚款数额会相当高昂。在另一起涉及中资金融机构的民事诉讼中,中资金融机构提出了本案金融机构所使用的抗辩,并拒绝实行民事传票。为促使中资金融机构遵守传票,该案法官要求中资金融机构缴纳“每日10万美金、每30天翻倍”的罚款。如果Howell法官也实施类似的惩罚,那么三家金融机构将必须在大陪审团解散前每日支付数百万美金的罚款。

 

The issue with waiting the grand jury out is that the Judge Howell, who maintains jurisdiction over the contempt orders, may raise the contempt of court fine if she feels that the banks are attempting to outlast the grand jury. In her Contempt Ruling, she notes that she is conscious of this possibility and therefore made it clear that she is willing to increase the contempt of court fines if the banks fail to comply. These fines can get quite exorbitant in the United States. In a civil lawsuit involving the Bank of China, the Bank of China refused to comply with a civil subpoena for the same reasons raised by the Banks in this case. To induce compliance, the judge in the Bank of China case ordered the Bank of China to pay contempt of court fines of USD $100,000 per day, doubling every 30 days. If such a sanction was implemented by Judge Howell, the Banks could end up paying millions of dollars a day in fines before the grand jury expires.

 

市场最关注的问题是,金融机构三是否会因为不遵守依据《爱国者法案》签发的传票而被美国禁止使用美金代理账户。这个问题来源于《爱国者法案》(31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(C)(i))的规定:如果外国金融机构未能遵守依据《爱国者法案》(31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(A))签发的传票或者未能在法律程序中对传票提出异议,美国财政部长或者司法部长有权关闭该外国金融机构在美代理账户。虽然依据该条款,确实存在金融机构三的美金代理账户被关闭的可能性,但是如果金融机构三上诉至联邦最高法院,继续对传票提出异议,将可能保护其代理账户暂免关闭。

 

A much-discussed topic has been whether Bank Three can be barred from having a correspondent account in the U.S. for failing to comply with the subpoena it received pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(A)(i). This question arises from the fact that 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(C)(i) provides that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the “Treasury Secretary”) or the U.S. Attorney General can order the termination of a foreign bank’s U.S. correspondent account if the foreign bank has failed “to comply with a summons or subpoena issued under [31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(A)]” or has failed “to initiate proceedings in a United States court contesting such summons or subpoena.” While this provision does create the possibility of Bank Three being barred from having a correspondent account in the U.S., the fact that the bank continues to contest the subpoena in the U.S. courts will protect its correspondent accounts from being suspended for the time being.

 

同时,值得关注的是,依据《爱国者法案》(31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(C)(i)),关闭金融机构三美金账户的权力被赋予了美国财政部长和司法部长,两者均为美国总统领导下的内阁成员。因此,他们必须对美国总统负责,且必须作出符合现任政府政策的决定,不排除美国将来把关闭金融机构三美金代理账户作为与中国政府进行贸易战谈判的筹码。

 

Unfortunately, the power to terminate Bank Three’s correspondent accounts under 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)(3)(C)(i) is given to the Treasury Secretary and the U.S. Attorney General, both of which are political appointees belonging to the Cabinet of the United States. They are therefore beholden to the U.S. President’s agenda and should make their decisions should be in line with the current administration’s policies. The concern is that the U.S. will use the possibility of prohibiting Bank Three’s access to U.S. correspondent accounts as a bargaining chip in future trade-related discussions with China.

 

 

4) 配合中国司法部通过刑事司法协助向美国提交证据

4)Work with China’s Ministry of Justice

 

三家金融机构的第四个选择是,在中国司法部的协调下,通过国际刑事司法协助途径,尽快完成跨境证据提交。这是帮助三家金融机构避免违反中美法律,同时又能维护中美两国法律权威的一种选择。Howell法官在其藐视法庭判决中指出:“金融机构三称,其已经进行了文件检索,从而确保其收集并保存了传票要求的文件;且其已经试图寻求中国有权机关的准许,以向美国提供证据”。虽然是否推进刑事司法协助最终由我国政府决定,且在当前贸易战大背景下推进的可能性较低,但是不妨碍三家金融机构尽快搜集证据材料、作好提交准备。但和选择二“遵守和实行美国传票”一样,如果向美国提交的证据显示三家金融机构涉嫌违反美国制裁规定,那么可能为三家金融机构招致更为严重的调查、执法和诉讼。

 

The fourth option is for the Banks to work with China’s Ministry of Justice to facilitate the sharing of evidence through international legal mechanisms and ensure that it happens as quickly as possible. This is the one option that would allow the Banks to avoid violating U.S. or Chinese laws while preserving the dignity of both countries’ legal systems. In the Contempt Ruling, Judge Howell noted that Bank Three had explained that it had “conduct[ed] document searches to ensure it has collected and preserved documents responsive to the subpoena and [sought] permission from Chinese authorities to permit it to produce the documents.” Bank One and Bank Two could, if they had not already done so, do the same thing. While it is ultimately a political decision to be made by Chinese authorities, which is complicated by the on-going trade war, the Banks can take steps to ensure they are ready to comply with the subpoenas as soon as possible.

 

四、结论

Conclusion

 

为免陷入漫长而复杂的美国调查、执法和诉讼程序,中资企业处理美国制裁风险的最佳方法是防患于未然,有跨境业务的中资企业应当就此案进行反思。大家强烈建议开展跨境业务、面临制裁风险的中资企业聘请国内跨境合规律师,采取以下一种或多种措施,以预防、控制以及最小化违反美国制裁规定的法律风险。

 

As is often the case in these sorts of complex and protracted legal situations, the best solution is to be proactive and avoid such situations in the first place. Although that is not an option for the Banks at this point, other Chinese companies operating internationally should treat this case as a wakeup call. We highly recommend that Chinese companies operating internationally take the following measures to prevent, control, and minimize the legal risk of U.S. sanctions violations with the assistance of Chinese cross-border compliance lawyers:

 

1.如果企业尚未建立制裁合规体系但又有跨境业务,大家强烈建议您马上建立并实施有效的制裁合规体系。您可以浏览大家最近关于OFAC制裁合规指南的文章《中国企业如何防范和应对美国政府制裁风险?——美国财政部<OFAC合规承诺框架>解读》,从而大致了解如何建立合格的制裁合规体系。

 

1.If your company does not have a sanction compliance program and operates internationally, we highly recommend that you begin to develop and implement a comprehensive sanction compliance program. You can read our recent article on OFAC’s updated sanction compliance guidance here for an overview of the features of a successful and effective sanction compliance program.

 

2.如果企业已经建立制裁合规体系,大家建议您聘请律师对其进行定期审查和评估,以确保其持续有效。

 

2.If your company has a sanction compliance program in place, we recommend that you hire external counsel to conduct periodic audits to evaluate its effectiveness and ensure that it remains robust and up to date.

 

3.大家建议您采用风险导向的方法对交易进行事先审查,并识别存在较高制裁风险的国家、地区、行业和/或实体。当您与有较高制裁风险的实体开展业务时,大家建议您对交易各方进行全面的制裁风险尽职调查。

 

3.We recommend that you take a risk-based approach to screening transactions and identify ahead of time countries, regions, industries, and/or entities that are of heightened sanction risk. When conducting transactions with clients that have exposure to such heightened sanction risk, we recommend that you conduct comprehensive due diligence of the parties – including third parties - involved in the transaction regardless of whether their name appears on a U.S. sanction list.

 

4.如果您发现可疑交易并且无法确定是否违反美国制裁规定,大家强烈建议您马上咨询制裁合规领域的律师,及时进行制裁风险评估,并基于风险评估结果决定下一步行动计划。虽然美国通常会对主动报告违规行为者减轻处罚,但中资企业仍然需要聘请中国律师,以确保自身利益得到最佳保护。

 

4.If you find a suspicious looking transaction and are unsure whether you have violated U.S. sanctions, we highly recommend that you immediately consult sanction compliance lawyers to conduct a sanction risk assessment and make further decisions based on the result of assessment. While the U.S. provides substantial leniency for self-reporting of violations, it is important to engage Chinese lawyers to ensure that your interests are protected.

 

5.如果您当前正在接受美国政府调查、执法或者被卷入违反制裁规定相关诉讼,大家建议您聘请有能力的跨境合规律师进行危机处理。法律程序初期采取的行动将对后期的监管应对产生很大影响。

 

5.If you are currently under investigation, subject to an enforcement action by a U.S. authority, or involved in U.S. litigation relating to sanction violations, we recommend that you hire competent cross-border compliance attorneys to conduct crisis management in the United States. Actions taken at the beginning of legal proceedings can have a large impact on the availability of options later in the process.

 

大家将密切关注并实时更新案件进展。上诉判决全文将于数周内公布,届时大家将对判决的具体内容进行详细的专业解读。

 

We will stay abreast of this case and provide updates as they become public. We will provide a detailed legal analysis of the Circuit Ruling once it is redacted and unsealed.

【注] 

[1] In the United States federal court system, the general trial courts are referred to as “district courts” while the intermediate appellate courts are referred to as “circuit courts.” 

[2] The three subpoenas requested all records, including “(a) signature cards; (b) documentation of account opening; (c) account ledger cards; (d) periodic account statements; (e) due diligence (including invoices); and (f) records (copied front and back) of all items deposited, withdrawn, or transferred” relating to banking transactions for the Front Company and a specific account thought to be used by the Front Company. The grand jury subpoenas for Bank One and Bank Two requested information from January 1, 2012 to December 26, 2017, while the subpoena for Bank Three requested information from January 1, 2012, through the present.

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