Disparate Treatment Overview

June 12, 2013

Penalties for charities suspected of violating U.S. counterterrorism policies can be severe: organizations can be raided and destroyed, and officers sentenced to life imprisonment. The penalties are, in fact, harsher for charities than for corporations caught supporting terrorism. The for-profit corporations Halliburton and Chiquita Brands International have only had to pay fines for similar alleged violations, and their operations have not been interrupted or shut down.

Selective Enforcement

CSN Responds

House Oversight Hearing Looks at Impact of Anti-terrorist Financing Laws on Lawful U.S. Charities

Date: 
June 1, 2010

On May 26, 2010 the first Congressional oversight hearing since 9/11 looked at the impact of anti-terrorist financing enforcement policies on the U.S. charitable sector. A Department of Treasury (Treasury) official acknowledged that the laws aimed at stopping terrorist financing have hurt charitable programs. Witnesses from the U.S. nonprofit sector explained the negative impacts on legitimate charities and the chilling effect of Treasury’s authority to shut down organizations without independent oversight or due process. The hearing, Anti-Money Laundering: Blocking Terrorist Financing and Its Impact on Lawful Charities, was held by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  

Double Standard: Chiquita Banana Fined, Not Shut Down, for Transactions with Designated Terrorists

Date: 
April 3, 2007

In a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on Mar. 14, 2007 Chiquita Brands International agreed to pay a $25 million fine after admitting it paid terrorists for protection in a dangerous region of Colombia. The payments, made between 1997 and 2004, continued despite the company's knowledge that they were illegal. The company was allowed to continue profitable production during the investigation. The U.S.

Selective Enforcement: Charities Targeted for Harsher Sanctions

Date: 
June 29, 2009

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated nine U.S. charities as supporters of terrorism, seizing all property, blocking all funds and effectively closing all programs. In contrast, the for-profit corporations Halliburton and Chiquita Brands International have only had to pay fines for very similar alleged violations, and their operations have not been interrupted or shut down. There has been no explanation from OFAC.