The Latest: Exxon sues to stop $2M fine for sanctions breach
Jul. 20, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States punishing Exxon Mobil for violating U.S. sanctions on Russia with a $2 million fine (all times local):
Exxon Mobil is suing the U.S. government to stop a $2 million fine on the oil giant for violating U.S. sanctions on Russia.
Exxon is being fined for signing contracts with a Russian oil mogul who was on a U.S. blacklist. The company is pointing to comments from Treasury Department representatives who had said that the sanctions barred Americans from dealing with the oil mogul himself and not the Russian government-owned oil company he ran.
The Texas-based company says it was following "authoritative and specific guidance" from the Obama administration and that now the Treasury Department is trying to change the rules "retroactively" a year later.
Exxon is suing the Treasury Department and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The Treasury Department says it is slapping Exxon Mobil Corp. with a $2 million fine for violating Russia sanctions while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil company's CEO.
The U.S. says Exxon violated the sanctions in May 2014 when two subsidiaries signed deals with Igor Sechin. Sechin is the chairman of Russian oil giant Rosneft and is on a U.S. blacklist over Russia's actions in Ukraine.
The Treasury Department says Exxon showed "reckless disregard" for sanctions by dealing with a person on that blacklist and that top Exxon executives knew Sechin was blacklisted when they did business with him. The U.S. says Exxon caused "significant harm" to the sanctions program.
When Tillerson was CEO, he said Exxon didn't support sanctions generally because it found them usually ineffective.