3M will pay $9.6 million to settle allegations its employees sold products to an Iranian entity in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said this week that between 2016 and 2018, 3M's Switzerland-based subsidiary "knowingly" sold reflective sheeting for license plates to a German company that resold the material to Bonyad Taavon Naja, an entity controlled by Iran's police forces.

A U.S. employee was reportedly "closely involved in the sales," which totaled nearly $10 million, according to a news release from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

According to the enforcement office, Maplewood-based 3M avoided a higher penalty — up to $27 million — and an admission of guilt by coming forward with the allegations.

"In 2019, 3M determined that a small number of employees had intentionally violated established procedural controls, company trade compliance policy and our employee Code of Conduct to arrange sales of license plate sheeting products to prohibited buyers," the company said in a statement Friday.

3M said the company "took appropriate corrective actions, including personnel actions and policy changes for future compliance."

3M will be monitored for the next five years to ensure it follows through with a sanctions compliance program as part of the settlement.