General Note on the Terms "Knowingly," "Should Have Known" And "Reason to Know" In the Primary Sanctions, Secondary Sanctions and Derivative Designation Contexts (System Ed. Note)
OFAC has never brought a publicly announced enforcement action against an individual or company for conduct where OFAC, in its telling, did not deem the person charged with the violation of having actual knowledge or, at a minimum, a "reason to know" of the facts and circumstances giving rise to the sanctions violation (cfFAQ # 125).
For this reason, understanding the operation of the "reason to know" concept is essential, even though most primary sanctions prohibitions technically operate on a “strict liability” basis. “Reason to know” implies some degree of culpability, i.e. negligence, while “strict liability” need not necessarily entail “negligence.” The “reason to know” standard appears to apply in...