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Published on December 24, 2017
According to four people familiar with the matter, two consulting firms hired to help the United States police ZTE Corp’s compliance with trade sanctions have resigned.
As part of the guilty plea for illegally shipping goods to Iran and North Korea, China’s second-largest telecommunication company agreed to pay $900 million and open its books to a U.S monitor as.
In June, the U.S. monitor in charge of the oversight regime, James Stanton, employed the services of Guidepost Solutions and Larkin Trade International and in late August the two firms parted ways with the monitor.
It was speculated that Stanton restricted their access to ZTE documents and officials although the reason behind their resignation is yet to be known.
The head of compliance for ZTE in the United State, Matthew Bell disclosed, “We’re looking to be cooperative and have a successful monitorship.”
According to reports gathered, U.K District Judge Ed Kinkeade re-wrote the agreement to put Stanton, a civil and personal injury lawyer in charge of monitoring ZTE’s compliance with U.S. export controls.
On a norm, the Department of Justice picks an independent monitor from candidates proposed by the company; however despite Stanton lack of experience in trade controls, he was appointed specifically by Kinkeade.
Association of Independent Corporate Monitors said it was extremely rare for a judge to modify a vital part of a plea agreement between a company and the government to select its own monitor but Kinkeade and his courtroom refused to answer to inquiries about the monitorship.
Both Kinkeade and Stanton are acquaintances as the latter has been said to have dedicated a book to the former.
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