On June 14, 2017, the United States filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Mingzheng International Trading Limited, alleging that Mingzheng is a sham financial institution laundering United States dollars for North Korean entities facing international sanctions.  In 2013, the United States imposed sanctions on the Foreign Trade Bank, a financial institution owned and controlled by the North Korean government.  The Foreign Trade Bank has foreign branches, including in northeastern China—the home of Mingzheng.  According to the complaint, Mingzheng served as a front company for a Foreign Trade Bank branch, and laundered more than $1.9 million to circumvent sanctions.  The press release hailed the action as one of the largest seizures of North Korean funds by the Justice Department.  United States v. $1,071,251.44 of Funds Associated with Mingzheng Int’l Trading Ltd., 1:17-cv-01166 (D.D.C.).

DOJ Press Release