A mistake by the US Treasury Department in its rush to cut off Venezuelan oil exports has put an Italian graphic designer on the ropes.
Alessandro Bazzoni, who runs SeriGraphicLab in Porto Torres, Sardinia, had his company's bank accounts closed after the firm ended up on the US blacklist alongside six tankers in January, according to a report in UK newspaper the Guardian.
Bazzoni told the newspaper he intends to sue the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which runs the US sanctions list, for the error and said he wants an apology.
Bazzoni's business and three others owned by another Allessandro Bazzoni hailing from Verona had sanctions dropped on 31 March.
The Veronese Bazzoni had his bank accounts reopened shortly thereafter, but the Sardinian Bazzoni did not, meaning he is unable to do business and cannot access government Covid-19 relief.
The US government identified a third Alessandro Bazzoni on 19 January as having used a Maltese firm called Elemento Oil and Gas to buy oil from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and transfer it to third parties.
He was one of three individuals, 11 companies and six ships caught up in that round of sanctions.
The ships that allegedly carried the oil were the 76,000-dwt Balita (built 2000), 146,270-dwt Domani (built 1996), 150,000-dwt Freedom (built 1993), 105,600-dwt Baliar (built 2000), 321,000-dwt Maksim Gorky (built 2013) and 105,340-dwt Sierra (built 1998).
Those ships all remain on the blacklist.
The removal of the Bazzonis' firms comes as the US fights another battle in its sanctions campaign, this time against Fujairah International Oil & Gas Corp.
The company, run by the Fujairah government, claims it is the true owner of crude oil the US confiscated off a Capital Ship Management VLCC.
In court papers, it demanded proof that the oil was truly Iranian in origin and not Iraqi, as its documentation suggests. It also seeks the return of the cargo or the proceeds from its sale.