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Thu 26 Mar 2015 10:34 AM

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PayPal to pay $7.7m after losing Iranian sanctions case

US Treasury Department claims the electronic payments firm committed 486 violations

PayPal to pay $7.7m after losing Iranian sanctions case
(Getty Images)

PayPal, the electronic payments firm, agreed to pay $7.7 million to settle charges by the US Treasury Department that it violated numerous sanctions programs against countries that include Iran, Cuba and Sudan, Treasury said on Wednesday.

PayPal, owned by EBay Inc, did not adequately screen its transactions for US sanctions targets for several years through 2013, resulting in 486 apparent violations of US law, Treasury said in a statement.

PayPal also dismissed alerts and processed about $7,000 worth of payments for Kursud Zafer Cire, a Turkish national on the sanctions blacklist tied to proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, according to the statement.

US companies are not allowed to do business with people on the list, who are considered enemies of the United States. But PayPal agents dismissed six alerts that flagged Cire as a potential match to the blacklist.

Treasury said the apparent violations of the sanctions related to weapons of mass destruction "constitute an egregious case."

Treasury said PayPal implemented better screening procedures in April 2013, hired new management in its compliance division, and cooperated with the investigation.

EBay is planning to split off PayPal from its marketplace division later this year.

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