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Indonesian company PT Bukit Muria Jaya admits to deceiving U.S. banks to trade with North Korea

Christian Fernsby |
A global supplier of cigarette paper products, PT Bukit Muria Jaya (“BMJ”), has agreed to pay a fine of $1,561,570 and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for conspiring to commit bank fraud in connection with the shipment of products to North Korean customers.

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BMJ, which is incorporated in Indonesia, has also entered into a settlement agreement with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).

In entering the deferred prosecution agreement, BMJ admitted and accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and agreed to pay a fine commensurate with the offense.

BMJ agreed to implement a compliance program designed to prevent and detect violations of U.S. sanctions laws and regulations and to regularly report to the Justice Department on the implementation of that program. BMJ also committed to report violations of relevant U.S. laws to the Justice Department and to cooperate in the investigation of such offenses.

Pursuant to the agreed statement of facts adopted in the deferred prosecution agreement, BMJ admitted in part that it sold products to two North Korean companies as well as a Chinese trading company while knowing that those products were destined for North Korea.

At the time, U.S. sanctions on North Korea prevented, among other things, correspondent banks in the United States from processing wire transfers on behalf of customers located in North Korea.

After learning that one of its North Korean customers was having difficulty executing payments to BMJ, BMJ personnel agreed to accept payments from third parties that were otherwise unrelated to the transactions.

Accepting these third-party payments evaded the sanctions monitoring and compliance systems of U.S. banks, inducing them into executing prohibited transactions.

Assuming BMJ’s continued compliance with the deferred prosecution agreement, the government has agreed to defer prosecution for a period of 18 months, after which time, the government would seek to dismiss the charges.

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