Treasury Designates Entity Subordinate to Iran’s Military Firm

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Shahid Meisami Group and its director. Shahid Meisami Group is involved in Iran’s chemical weapons research and is subordinate to the Iranian Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also known as SPND. The United States designated SPND in 2014 in connection with the Iranian regime’s proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) or their means of delivery. 

“Iran’s development of weapons of mass destruction is a threat to the security of its neighbors and the world,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to counter any efforts by the Iranian regime to develop chemical weapons that may be used by the regime or its proxy groups to advance their malign agenda.”

Treasury’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets proliferators of WMD and their supporters. This action supports the United States’ calls on Iran to meet the compliance standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention. 

Shahid Meisami Group 

Shahid Meisami Group is an organization subordinate to SPND and has been responsible for numerous SPND projects, the cost of which totaled in the millions of U.S. dollars. These projects include testing and producing chemical agents and optimizing them for effectiveness and toxicity for use as incapacitation agents. The United States has longstanding concerns that Iran maintains an undeclared chemical weapons program. 

Shahid Meisami Group is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, SPND, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Mehran Babri

Mehran Babri is the head of Shahid Meisami Group. Prior to his current position at Shahid Meisami Group, Babri worked at Iran’s Defense Chemical Research Lab.

Mehran Babri is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Shahid Meisami Group, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

View identifying information on the individual and entity designated today.

 

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Peloton Interactive, Inc. Announces Participation in the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference

NEW YORK, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Peloton Interactive, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTON) today announced that the Company will be participating in the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at 9:30 AM ET. Attending for Peloton will be Jill Woodworth, Chief Financial Officer.

The audio portion of the presentation will be webcast live over the internet and can be accessed at https://investor.onepeloton.com. An online archive will be available for a period of 90 days following the presentation.

About Peloton

Peloton is the leading interactive fitness platform in the world with a loyal community of more than 3.6 million Members. The company pioneered connected, technology-enabled fitness, and the streaming of immersive, instructor-led boutique classes for its Members anytime, anywhere. Peloton makes fitness entertaining, approachable, effective, and convenient, while fostering social connections that encourage its Members to be the best versions of themselves. An innovator at the nexus of fitness, technology, and media, Peloton has reinvented the fitness industry by developing a first-of-its-kind subscription platform that seamlessly combines the best equipment, proprietary networked software, and world-class streaming digital fitness and wellness content, creating a product that its Members love. The brand’s immersive content is accessible through the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread, Peloton Bike+, Peloton Tread+, and Peloton App, which allows access to a full slate of fitness classes across disciplines, on any iOS or Android device, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku TVs, and Chromecast and Android TV. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, Peloton has a growing number of retail showrooms across the US, UK, Canada and Germany. For more information, visit www.onepeloton.com.

Investor Relations Contact: Peter Stabler[email protected] 

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Source: Peloton Interactive

OCC Announces Several New Executives

News Release 2020-165 | December 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced several executive assignments supporting its core mission of bank supervision.

Karen Boehler will become the Deputy Comptroller of the Western District upon the retirement of Kay Kowitt. In this role, she will oversee a team of nearly 300 people supervising a portfolio of 176 institutions located in 19 states with assets totaling $156 billion. She will report to Acting Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision Sydney Menefee. Ms. Boehler currently serves as an Associate Deputy Comptroller for the Western District and previously served as the Western District Risk and Operations Officer. She has served the OCC in a variety of bank supervision and leadership roles throughout her 36-year OCC career. Ms. Boehler earned her National Bank Examiner commission in 1989 and the Federal Thrift Regulator certification in 2013. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Joel Denkert will become Deputy Comptroller for Midsize Bank Supervision. In this role, he will lead the supervision of a portfolio of banks with assets ranging from $10 billion to $100 billion in assets. Mr. Denkert will also report to the Acting Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision. He currently serves as the Large Bank Supervision Examiner-in-Charge of BMO Harris Bank, N.A., in Chicago. He joined the OCC in 1990 and has 30 years of bank supervision experience across institutions of various size and complexity. Mr. Denkert earned his National Bank Examiner commission in 1994 and the Federal Thrift Regulator certification in 2013. He graduated from the University of Nebraska. He fills the vacancy left by William Haas who has taken another role in the agency.

Enice Thomas will become the Deputy Comptroller for Credit Risk Policy. In this role, he will serve as a principal advisor on credit risks facing the banking system and will oversee the agency’s Commercial and Retail Credit Policy units, reporting to Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy Grovetta Gardineer. Mr. Thomas has been acting in this role since August 2020 and previously served as Senior Advisor to the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and earned his National Bank Examiner commission in 2005 and his Federal Thrift Regulator designation in 2013. He fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Richard Taft.

These individuals will transition into their new roles by the end of the year.

Media Contact

Bryan Hubbard
(202) 649-6870

Treasury Sanctions Close Associate of Notorious Drug Trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero

Murderous Mexican drug lord remains a fugitive

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mexican national Lucio Rodriguez Serrano (“Rodriguez Serrano”) as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Rodriguez Serrano engages in various activities on behalf of Rafael Caro Quintero, a major Mexican narcotics trafficker and the mastermind behind the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Caro Quintero remains a fugitive from U.S. justice.

“Rafael Caro Quintero and his years of drug trafficking have endangered and cost American lives,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Treasury, in coordination with the DEA and other agencies, is committed to targeting Caro Quintero until he is brought to justice.”

“Bringing Rafael Caro Quintero to justice is a top priority for the DEA. He was responsible for the brutal torture and death of a DEA Special Agent in 1985, and we will not rest until he is apprehended. He continues to direct a major cartel that smuggles drugs into this country. Targeting his associates and support structure is crucial to choking off his criminal enterprise once and for all,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “Today’s action by Treasury is an important step in our joint mission to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy violent drug trafficking organizations and in bringing Caro Quintero to justice.”

Caro Quintero and Rodriguez Serrano, both natives of Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico, have been lifelong friends. In recent years, Rodriguez Serrano has helped Caro Quintero evade capture. Additionally, Rodriguez Serrano has engaged in real estate transactions at the direction and for the benefit of Caro Quintero.

The President identified Caro Quintero as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2000. Caro Quintero began his criminal career in the late 1970s when he co-founded the Guadalajara drug cartel and amassed an illicit fortune. He was convicted and sent to prison in Mexico for his involvement in Special Agent Camarena’s murder. While in prison, Caro Quintero maintained his relationships with Mexican drug trafficking organizations and used a network of family members and front persons to launder his illicit fortune by investing into ostensibly legitimate companies and real estate projects in Guadalajara. On August 9, 2013, Caro Quintero was released from a Mexican prison with 12 years remaining of his 40-year prison sentence. Caro Quintero has continued to engage in drug trafficking activities since his release.

In April 2018, the FBI added Caro Quintero’s name to its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list, where it remains today. Also in April 2018, the State Department announced a $20 million Narcotics Reward Program offer for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Caro Quintero, which remains in effect. A DEA investigation led to a 2017 indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. This indictment alleges Caro Quintero’s role in the murder of Special Agent Camarena and his leadership of a continuing criminal enterprise that trafficked methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana into the United States. Previously, in 1992, Caro Quintero was charged with crimes related to Camarena’s murder, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individual that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Since June 2000, more than 2,100 entities and individuals have been sanctioned pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,503,470 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

View more information on the entities designated today.

View the Kingpin Act chart on entities designated today.

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OCC Releases CRA Evaluations for 39 National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

News Release 2020-164 | December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released a list of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public during the period of November 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020. The list contains only national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks that have received ratings. The possible ratings are outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve, and substantial noncompliance.

Of the 39 evaluations made public this month, 25 are rated satisfactory, and 14 are rated outstanding.

A list of this month’s evaluations is available here. Click on the institution’s charter number to view a pdf of the evaluation. The OCC’s website (https://www.occ.gov) also offers access to a searchable list of all public CRA evaluations. Copies of the evaluations may also be obtained by submitting a request electronically through the OCC’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website https://foia-pal.occ.gov/palMain.aspx or by writing to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Communications Division, Suite 3E-218, Washington, DC 20219. When requests are made electronically, remember to include your postal mail address.

Media Contact

Public Affairs
(202) 649-6870

OCC Reduces 2021 Assessments on National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

News Release 2020-163 | December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is reducing the rates in all Fee Schedules by 3 percent for the 2021 calendar year.

The 2021 reduction is in addition to the 10 percent reduction to all Fee Schedules in 2020 and to the General Assessment Fee Schedule in 2019. The reduction reflects increased operating efficiencies that the agency has achieved over the last several years. The 2021 assessment level provides sufficient resources that enable the agency to recruit, train, and retain the talent and experience necessary to perform its important mission and continue to invest in initiatives that improve the agency’s ability to ensure the safety, soundness, and fairness of the federal banking system.

The reduced assessments go into effect January 1, 2021, and will be reflected in assessments paid on March 31, 2021, and September 30, 2021.

Media Contact

Bryan Hubbard
(202) 649-6870

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BRP APPOINTS TWO NEW INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBERS

Katherine Kountze and Ernesto M. Hernández bring specialized skillsets to the table

Mr. Ernesto and Ms. Kathy

The Board of Directors of BRP is pleased to welcome Mr. Ernesto M. Hernández and Ms. Kathy Kountze.

Valcourt, Quebec, December 1, 2020 – The Board of Directors of BRP Inc. (TSX: DOO; NASDAQ: DOOO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine (Kathy) Kountze and Ernesto M. Hernández to its Board of Directors, effective immediately.

“I’m pleased to welcome Kathy and Ernesto to BRP’s Board of Directors. Their extensive expertise and experiences in complementary industries will be great assets to the BRP board as we continue to execute on our strategy to grow in existing and new businesses and markets,” said José Boisjoli, Chairman of the Board and CEO.

Ms. Kountze is currently the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Eversource Energy, a $8 billion publicly traded company in the US, and has led significant upgrades, implementations, integrations and shifts in technology strategy. Prior to her current position, Ms. Kountze was the Vice President and CIO for The United Illuminating Company. Her experience in overseeing the development and implementation of major, innovative IT strategies and solutions in organizations will support BRP’s ongoing technological advances.

Mr. Hernández is the former President and Managing Director of General Motors, Mexico. He has a well-rounded profile with a deep understanding of product engineering, manufacturing, planning, program management, sales, marketing and aftersales in Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and the US. Mr. Hernández’ 40+ years of solid track record in the automotive industry and his knowledge of the US and Latin American markets will be highly beneficial to BRP.

The Board considers that both Kathy Kountze and Ernesto M. Hernández are “independent directors” within the meaning of applicable securities regulations.

About BRP
We are a global leader in the world of powersports vehicles, propulsion systems and boats, built on over 75 years of ingenuity and intensive consumer focus. Our portfolio of industry-leading and distinctive products includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am on- and off-road vehicles, Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex, Stacer and Savage boats, Evinrude and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles and recreational aircraft. We complete our lines of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and apparel business to fully enhance the riding experience. With annual sales of CA$6.1 billion from over 120 countries, our global workforce is made up of approximately 12,600 driven, resourceful people.

www.brp.com

@BRPNews

Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Rotax, Evinrude, Manitou, Alumacraft, Quintrex, Stacer, Savage and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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For media enquiries:

Elaine Arsenault
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
Tel.: 514.238.3615                                            
[email protected]

Statement of Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin Department of the Treasury Before the Financial Services Committee U.S. House of Representatives December 2, 2020

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and members of the Committee, I am pleased to join you today to discuss the Department of the Treasury’s unprecedented response to support the American people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We continue to work to implement the historic CARES Act with speed, efficiency, and transparency, but our job will not be complete until we get every American back to work.

Economic Recovery

When I last testified before you in September, I stated that America is in the midst of the fastest economic recovery from any crisis in U.S. history. I am proud to say that while there is more work to be done, that statement is even more true today. In the third quarter, GDP grew by 33.1% at an annual rate, beating all expectations and nearly doubling the previous record set in 1950. 

Americans are getting back to work. The October jobs report showed that the economy has gained back 12.1 million jobs since April—more than 50% of all jobs lost due to the pandemic. The private service-providing sector, which includes those industries that were most impacted by the initial economic shutdowns, has regained 58% of the jobs lost. The unemployment rate has decreased to 6.9%, a rate not expected by Blue Chip to be achieved until the fourth quarter of 2021. 

The historic, bipartisan CARES Act provided the economic relief critical to supporting our robust recovery. Additional economic shutdowns, however, continue to impair this remarkable progress and cause great harm to American businesses and workers.

Additional Economic Relief

Based on recent economic data, I continue to believe that a targeted fiscal package is the most appropriate federal response. I strongly encourage Congress to use the $455 billion in unused funds from the CARES Act to pass an additional bill with bipartisan support. The Administration is standing ready to support Congress in this effort to help American workers and small businesses that continue to struggle with the impact of COVID-19. 

Transparency

Treasury has been working hard to implement the CARES Act in a transparent and efficient manner. We have released a significant amount of information to the public on our website, Treasury.gov, and on USAspending.gov. In many instances, we have released more information than what is required by the statute. 

We continue to cooperate with various oversight bodies, including the new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Relief, the Treasury Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the new Congressional Oversight Commission, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

We have provided regular updates to Congress, with this marking my ninth appearance before Congress for a CARES Act hearing. We have also devoted significant resources to responding to inquiries from numerous congressional committees and individual Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.  We appreciate your interest in these issues, and we remain committed to working with you to accommodate Congress’s legislative requests and to further advance our whole-of-government approach to defeating COVID-19.

Conclusion

I would like to thank the members of the Committee for working with us to provide critical economic relief to the American people. I am pleased to answer any questions you may have. 
 

Apple presents App Store Best of 2020 winners

Apple today presented its App Store Best of 2020 winners, recognizing 15 apps and games that proved to be essential for making life easier, healthier, and more connected this year. Notable for their high quality, creative design, usability, and innovative technology, these apps and games are equally celebrated for their positive cultural impact, helpfulness, and importance.

“This year, more than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps. This was thanks to the amazing work of developers who introduced fresh, helpful app experiences throughout the year,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers, and these Best of 2020 winners are 15 outstanding examples of that innovation. From helping us stay fit and mindful, to keeping our children’s education on track, to helping fight hunger, their impact was meaningful to so many of us.”

The independent developer of Wakeout! brought gentle exercise to home offices and classrooms with light-hearted and inclusive movements designed for everyone. Vast fantasy worlds in games like “Genshin Impact,” “Legends of Runeterra,” “Disco Elysium,” “Dandara Trials of Fear,” and Apple Arcade’s “Sneaky Sasquatch delivered a great escape, while Disney+ offered a sense of unlimited possibility that many craved. Whether it was to facilitate distance learning through Zoom, create daily routines with Fantastical or lull us to sleep with Endel, the App Store Best of 2020 winners helped us live our best lives at home.

Best Apps of 2020

iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout!, developed by Andres Canella.

Treasury Sanctions Network for Assisting Colombia’s Clan del Golfo Drug Trafficking Organization

WASHINGTON– Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Jhon Fredy Zapata Garzon (Zapata Garzon) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for materially assisting the international narcotics trafficking activities of the Clan del Golfo. Three of his family members and associates are also being designated along with four businesses they own or control. 

“Criminal organizations trafficking cocaine and other drugs are a threat to the safety of the American people,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Treasury will continue to use its authorities to identify and disrupt dangerous criminal organizations.” 

The President identified the Clan del Golfo, also known as Los Urabeños, as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act on May 31, 2013. On October 15, 2018, the U.S. Attorney General identified Clan del Golfo as a top transnational organized crime threat involved in threatening the safety and prosperity of the United States and its allies. Clan del Golfo functions as a highly structured and centralized criminal enterprise that has evolved into the largest “Armed Criminal Organization” (Grupo Armado Organizado, GAO) in Colombia, with a cohesive national presence. The organization sends multi-ton quantities of cocaine to Panama and other countries in Central America. The majority of cocaine produced and exported by Colombian criminal organizations to the United States is transported through Central America and Mexico. 

Zapata Garzon was assessed to be an important drug trafficker who was responsible for facilitating the shipment of cocaine on behalf of the Clan del Golfo. In the fall of 2018, he sent a number of shipments of cocaine totaling approximately 4,500 kg. On the orders of a Clan del Golfo member, Zapata Garzon provided campaign support and funding to mayoral candidates in several municipalities in Colombia. 
 
Included as part of today’s designation are four companies that Zapata Garzon or his associates own or control. Las Ingenierias S.A.S., Fresno Home S.A.S., Distriecor S.A.S., and Multioperaciones de Occidente S.A.S. are used to launder the profits from Zapata Garzon’s drug trafficking. Zapata Garzon has employed relatives and associates, also designated today, as figureheads and managers for his businesses.  
 
Zapata Garzon was designated today for materially assisting in, or providing financial or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, the international narcotics trafficking activities of the Clan del Golfo. Zapata Garzon is the 60 percent shareholder and legal representative for Las Ingenierias S.A.S., which was designated today for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Zapata Garzon. 
 
Zapata Garzon’s sister, Tatiana Marguerid Zapata Garzon, is the majority shareholder, legal representative, and business manager of Fresno Home S.A.S. Tatiana Marguerid Zapata Garzon was designated today for materially assisting in, or providing financial or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, the international narcotics trafficking activities of Zapata Garzon. Fresno Home S.A.S. was designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Tatiana Marguerid Zapata Garzon. 

Zapata Garzon’s brother-in-law, Euclides Correa Salas (Correa Salas), has worked as a figurehead and financial operator for Zapata Garzon. He is the 100 percent shareholder, legal representative, and general manager of Distriecor S.A.S. Correa Salas was designated today for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Zapata Garzon. Distriecor S.A.S. was designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Correa Salas.

Einer Murillo Palacios (Murillo Palacios) is a money launderer and the 60 percent shareholder and legal representative of Multioperaciones de Occidente S.A.S. Murillo Palacios was designated today for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Zapata Garzon. Multioperaciones de Occidente S.A.S. was designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Murillo Palacios.

Both Correa Salas and Murillo Palacios are identified as close associates of Zapata Garzon who act as cutouts and trusted advisors for his drug trafficking and money laundering operations.

OFAC coordinated closely with the U.S. Southern Command in support of its Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations in order to execute today’s action.

As a result of today’s designation, all property and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated individuals, are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

Since June 2000, more than 2,100 entities and individuals have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,503,470 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 milion. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.  

View identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today.

View information about the Kingpin Act.

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