PayPal will pay a $7.7 million fine for processing payments from customers that have ties to sanctioned parties on a U.S. Government list.
According to a settlement, PayPal processed about 500 transactions totaling about $44,000 in violation of U.S. rules forbidding work with businesses or people whom the U.S. government has classified as "enemies." The transactions took place over several years, running through 2013.
In one case, PayPal processed more than 130 transactions totaling more than $7,000 connected to a PayPal account registered to Kursad Zafer Cire, which the government said violates rules against doing business with "proliferators" of weapons of mass destruction. The weapons case in particular was an "egregious" violation, the government said.
More than 100 transactions were Iranian in origin, while others involved Sudan.
The Treasury Department noted PayPal was cooperative, and said it has improved screening and hired new staff in its compliance division. PayPal said it is taking steps to improve compliance.
"Our settlement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a result of us voluntarily reporting to OFAC certain payments we processed in possible violation of sanctions regulations from 2009 to 2013. Since then, we've taken additional steps to support compliance with OFAC regulations with the introduction of real-time scanning of payments and improved processes," PayPal said in an email.