WASHINGTON – Online travel agency Expedia agreed to pay a fine of $ 325,406 to the government for an “apparent” violation of economic sanctions against Cuba, the Treasury Department reported today.
Expedia, which is based in Bellevue, Washington State, would have violated the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets, the main mechanism to enforce the economic embargo on the island.
According to the Government, Expedia, through its international subsidiaries, would have sold to at least 2,221 people travel services to Cuba between 2011 and 2014 in an “apparent” violation of the embargo.
Expedia assisted these individuals with travel or travel services within Cuba or between Cuba and third countries.
The Treasury Department assessed that Expedia informed him of these transactions before receiving any request from the Government.
According to the text of the agreement between the Treasury Department and the company, these apparent violations occurred “because certain foreign affiliates of Expedia lacked understanding and familiarity with the economic sanctions laws of the United States.”
“With respect to at least one foreign affiliate, Expedia did not inform the subsidiary until approximately 15 months after its acquisition by Expedia that it was subject to US law and jurisdiction,” he added.
The Treasury Department also announced today an agreement with Hotelbeds USA, a US subsidiary based in Florida of the Spanish group Hotelbeds, for the payment of a fine of $ 222,705 to assist with unauthorized travel services to Cuba.
Hotelbeds USA, which also reported its practices to the Department of the Treasury, attended between 2011 and 2014 to 703 people with their travel plans to the island.
Finally, the Treasury also fined an individual and the Cubasphere company, based in California, with $ 40,320 to assist 104 people between 2013 and 2014 in four group trips to Cuba. (EFEUSA)