Exxon Mobil Corp. showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. sanctions on Russia three years ago while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil giant’s chief executive officer, the Treasury Department said Thursday.
It fined the company $2 million, the maximum civil penalty under the law, calling the violation an “egregious case.”
Exxon “is a sophisticated and experienced oil and gas company that has global operations” and should know better when it comes to U.S. sanctions, Treasury said.
The Texas-based company has denied wrong doing and indicated late Thursday that it would sue the U.S. government to block the fine.
In a statement, Treasury said Exxon had violated U.S. sanctions when it signed contracts in May 2014 with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin, chairman of government-owned energy giant Rosneft.
The Obama administration had blacklisted Sechin, Tillerson’s longtime business associate, as part of its response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The same month Exxon signed the contracts, Tillerson said the energy company generally opposes sanctions and finds them “ineffective.”
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Source: News Now/Los Angeles Times