The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department.
It administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.
While many of OFAC's targets are broadly set by the White House, most individual cases are developed as a result of investigations by OFAC's Office of Global Targeting (OGT).
Sometimes described as one of the "most powerful yet unknown" government agencies, OFAC was founded in 1950 and has the power to levy significant penalties against entities that defy its directives, including imposing fines, freezing assets, and barring parties from operating in the United States.
In 2014, OFAC reached a record $963 million settlement with the French bank BNP Paribas, which was a portion of an $8.9 billion penalty imposed in relation to the case.