What to Do When You've Received a Letter from OFAC

When most people get a letter from OFAC – the Office of Foreign Asset Control – they are initially paralyzed with fear and utter an expletive that sounds a lot like the agency’s acronym. Once this initial reaction passes, the next thing you need to do is contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney who has successfully represented clients in OFAC matters. If you are in Phoenix, Arizona, you need to call Jason Lamm.


The Office of Foreign Asset Control is a unit with the Treasury Department that oversees economic sanctions and restrictions on various countries and individuals who are involved in illegal activities. Most often, the criminal conduct surrounds:

  • Drug Trafficking, or
  • Terrorism

Most commonly, OFAC’s sanctions involve trade restrictions or the blocking of assets.


While there is no dispute that OFAC plays a vital role in national security, there are times that it overreaches and affects innocent people who are not involved in drug trafficking or terrorism.

For example, there have been many situations where US citizens either have legitimate business or even family abroad in countries with which the United States has trade restrictions. Legitimate assets transfers can be blocked and sometimes seized until it can be proven by the innocent intended recipient that nothing is a foul.

Another common example occurs when an innocent person has a legitimate connection with a person or persons who, unbeknownst to them may have ties to a drug trafficking organization. Because of legitimate transactions with this person(s) OFAC may take action against the innocent person, including seizing their assets.


OFAC is not your neighborhood police officer conduct a typical investigation of a white collar crime. Their resources are vast and their investigations are comprehensive and probing. Even the slightest misstep can have devastating financial consequences, and in some cases, can result in the filing of federal criminal charges.

Jason Lamm has successfully defended numerous clients who are the targets of complex white collar investigations – including OFAC inquiries. The overwhelming majority of criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona have not even heard of OFAC, let alone have they represented clients who have been investigated by it.

If you are the target of an OFAC inquiry, let the initial anxiety pass and contact Jason Lamm to schedule a personal and confidential consultation. Be sure to bring all materials received from OFAC to make your meeting as informative and productive as possible. Consultations with Mr. Lamm can be scheduled by calling (602) 663-9100.

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