The Global Magnitsky Act as implemented by the December 17th Executive Order by President Trump targets human rights abusers and corrupt actors worldwide. In contrast, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law of Accountability Act of 2012 targets mainly Russian persons for certain actions related to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, who was a journalist that died in government custody. In addition, the Magnitsky Act of 2012 is different from the Global Magnitsky Act as it authorizes the general targeting of persons involved in serious human rights violations in Russia specifically.

Whereas, the more recent Magnitsky Act targets human rights abusers and corrupt actors globally. The other one, 2016, is exclusive to Russia or people who are involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky. OFAC is responsible for designating who would fall under this act and be sanctioned. In order to learn more about Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 and the Magnitsky Act, it is imperative that one seek the services of a knowledgeable and experienced OFAC attorney who could answer their questions.

How Does the U.S. Government Apply These Laws to Interpret Human Rights Abuses?

The United States does have their own standards when it comes to interpreting human rights abuses. It is to the discretion of that administration specifically because the executive order that was issued on December 17, Executive Order 1318, declares a national emergency over the threat posed by certain human rights violations and corruption. That is a threat to our national security, so it can be assumed that it is to the discretion of the administration to impose that where they see it.

Industries Impacted by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act

The impact these acts may have on an industry is contingent upon a person’s industry and their own practices. There are no specific industries that are targeted unfairly or more so than others. It is about  a person’s corrupt practices. There are corrupt practices in the mining industry, in the diamond industry, and all types of natural resource businesses – drilling for oil for instance.

It is about how a person conducts their business that would affect their designation and their designation is contingent upon their business practices. There is no evidence where a specific industry is getting designated more often than others. It is possible that one could say the drugs industry or the black market industry would get the most hurt but aside from that designations are equal among industries.

Countries Most Affected by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act is named after Magnitsky, the Russian journalist/lawyer that was killed. Looking at the list of those affected by the act, there are all types of people and all types of nationalities on that list. There are Nicaraguans due to the most recent protest in Nicaragua, police chiefs, and people involving intelligence in certain countries that do not have the most positive relations with the United States. These are all people who have been designated by the act. For instance, in the Dominican Republic, there is a politician or former politician that has been involved with bribing, and that person has been put on the list. There was a businessman, a billionaire, who is huge in this diamond trades who is connected with Glencoe who was designated. That was a really big deal which represents billions of dollars. That person was Dan Gertler and the Gertler family foundation. Those were people who are designated for the list.

Effects of Executive Order 13818

The Executive Order provided the executive authority to implement the Global Magnistky Act. The executive order declares a national emergency over the threat posed by worldwide human rights violations and corruption to the national security. It gives the government power through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to impose financial sanctions and visa restrictions on persons determined to be involved, responsible or complicit in certain human rights abuses or corrupt acts.

Designated Persons According to the Executive Order and Magnitsky Act

Individuals and entities on the designated list pursuant to the Executive Order mentioned and the Global Magnitsky Act are gathered from all the property and interest in property within the U.S. jurisdiction. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them unless authorized by OFAC to do so. A designated person is considered to have an interest in property in which such designated person’s own, whether it be directly or indirectly, a 50% or greater interest.

In addition, any entity which owns an aggregate directly or indirectly 50% or greater by one or more blocked person is itself also considered to be a blocked person. So, to reiterate, if an entity or company is owned in totality either directly or indirectly, 50% or greater by a blocked person or persons, it itself is also considered to be a blocked person.

How Hiring an OFAC Sanctions Attorney Could Help

An OFAC sanction attorney could suggest using the compliance tools, the software and also make use of the resources found online. Most companies have internal compliance tools that give them automatic hits. Banks also have this tool. If potential clients have a similar name or is a blocked individual, the compliance tool will alert that company. The OFAC attorney could use those tools along with the compliance taskforce while having their own internal OFAC compliance policy that will include going through the OFAC sanctions or putting the name of the new potential client into the OFAC search list to see if there are any sanctions.