Dennis Rodman can't catch a break. On top of an abysmal trip to North Korea which ended with him taking a direct flight to rehab, Dennis Rodman is now the subject of a U.S. Treasury Department investigation because of gifts he gave to Kim Jong-un.
Showering a North Korean dictator with gifts not only looks bad paper, it's possibly against the law, as it could be a violation of American and United Nations sanctions against the nation and its people. Rodman reportedly brought many gifts with him in honor of Kim's 31st birthday ranging from suits, to a fur coat, to bottles of Jameson, to an expensive handbag. Those gifts allegedly costs upwards of $10,000 and experts believe those gifts could be seen as violations of U.N. sanctions.
What's perhaps more pressing for an American like Rodman is that these gifts actually violate U.S. law. The Daily Beast reports:
Rodman may have violated an American law called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) ... which makes it a violation of U.S. law for any person determined by the Treasury and State Departments “to have, directly or indirectly, imported, exported, or reexported luxury goods to or into North Korea.”
Gathering information from an unnamed U.S. official, The Daily Beast is reporting that the Treasury Department is actually investigating if Rodman broke that luxury good law. The State Department earlier had voiced their displeasure with Rodman's visit, calling it "marginally unhelpful".
The Beast also seems to think the feds have a pretty good case."Rodman could have applied for an export license for the goods, although export licenses for North Korea must meet strict criteria and luxury goods are specifically excluded from the list of items that could receive licenses, according to federal regulations."
Depending on what, if anything, Rodman brought over (and how much the government wants to smack him down), he could face up to $250,000 in fines or up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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