Flying below the media radar screen was an event on July 11, 2012 at which Governor Rick Scott signed legislation to keep state-chartered financial institutions from being pipelines for money supporting terrorism.
Governor Scott joined leaders of Florida’s Jewish community in standing against Iran’s development of weapons of mass destruction. Governor Rick Scott joined leaders of Florida’s Jewish community at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County to ceremonially sign Senate Bill 792, Financial Institutions. The legislation gives the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) the authority to require Florida’s state-chartered financial institutions to report information on any accounts that have connections with a foreign financial institution knowingly supporting international terrorism.
“Florida and Israel have strong cultural and economic ties, and as the only stable democracy in the Middle East, Florida must stand with Israel and against her enemies,” Governor Scott said. “One of Israel’s greatest threats is Iran and its leader’s insistence on developing nuclear capabilities and weapons of mass destruction. “We have a responsibility to stand for freedom and democracy and against terrorism.”
SB 792 creates new reporting requirements. OFR will be notified by Florida financial institutions whether any correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts with a foreign financial institution are knowingly:
· Facilitating the efforts of the Iranian government to develop weapons of mass destruction.
· Providing support to a foreign terrorist organization.
· Facilitating the activities of a person who is subject to financial sanctions by the United Nations Security Council’s Iranian sanction resolutions.
· Engaging in related money laundering activity.
· Facilitating efforts by Iranian financial institutions to carry out prohibited activities.
· Facilitating a significant transaction or providing significant financial services to an entity whose property interests are blocked pursuant to federal law associated with Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or support for international terrorism.
To implement this legislation, OFR will submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature. Any state-chartered bank or credit union that does not provide information may face a penalty of $100,000. OFR will present information about the reporting process to the Governor and Cabinet at an upcoming meeting. Governor Scott thanked Senator Don Gaetz for sponsoring SB 792.