Dennis Rodman may have overspent on birthday gifts for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, at least according to United States law.
The U.S. Treasury Department is investigating Rodman for potentially violating a law that forbids the flow of luxury items into North Korea, according to Josh Rogin of The Daily Beast. Rodman visited Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang earlier this month for the dictator's 31st birthday and brought along some gifts, including expensive alcohol (such as Rodman's own "Bad Ass Vodka") and high-end clothing.
But according to Rogin's report, the gifts may have defied national and international rules, including resolutions from the United Nations Security Council. Rodman may also be in trouble with U.S. law:
Rodman may have violated an American law called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), as implemented by Executive Order 13551, which President Obama signed in 2010, 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.”
According to The Daily Beast report, the Treasury Department and State Department are currently investigating whether Rodman broke U.S. law. Rogin noted that Rodman's gifts seem to be in violation of sanctions.
According to federal regulations, “luxury goods” as defined by this law include “luxury automobiles; yachts; gems; jewelry; other fashion accessories; cosmetics; perfumes; furs; designer clothing; luxury watches; rugs and tapestries; electronic entertainment software and equipment; recreational sports equipment; tobacco; wine and other alcoholic beverages; musical instruments; art; and antiques and collectible items, including but not limited to rare coins and stamps are subject to a general policy of denial.”
In other words, “Bad Ass Vodka” and high-end handbags are off-limits.
The investigation is still ongoing, but if Rodman were convicted he could face a large fine of up to $1 million and potential prison time of up to 20 years, according to the report. Those would be the maximum penalties. Rodman checked into rehab earlier this month to confront his alcoholism.