What does it mean to be on OFAC’s SDN List?
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is an agency within the United States Department of the Treasury which seeks out those persons and organizations engaged in illegal business. The purpose of this entity is to prevent funds and other assets from being used by criminals and terrorists to commit their crimes or acts of terrorism. The SDN List is titled Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, which are the names of those associated with illegal operations after being put on OFAC list.
When someone’s name goes on the SDN list, that person/organization then becomes aware that they have been placed on a list associated with criminal activities. OFAC does not have to put out any public warnings or notifications that a person’s name is being considered for the SDN List, but individuals themselves can find this information on their own by searching on www.sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov/.
Being placed on the SDN List can lead to many problems with one's everyday life. While in some cases, if the person is not directly connected to an illegal activity their name will be removed from the list within a couple of years, there are other cases when even innocent people end up on the SDN list for decades without any knowledge of why they are being targeted or how they can get their name removed.
This is where SDN List removal lawyers come in, helping those who have been wronged to have their names removed from the list so that they are no longer restricted on how they carry out their daily activities such as banking or international travel.
How does OFAC decide who will be placed on the SDN List?
The SDN List is made up of individuals, businesses, groups and countries which have been placed on the list after being accused of “assisting or supporting international terrorism, drug trafficking or acting as a front operation for another nation.”
If an individual is currently serving time in jail for committing crimes related to any one of the above, it is very difficult for them to be removed from the SDN List after they are released and/or pardoned. It is important to note that one cannot be completely removed from the list; instead, their name is just made dormant on the list until a specified date when it will be reactivated if they have been pardoned or not.