Iranian national convicted of illegally exporting sensitive military items | Takeover bid

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An Iranian national was sentenced today to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

Mehrdad Ansari, 40, a resident of the United Arab Emirates and Germany, was convicted by a federal jury in May 2021 for his role in a scheme to obtain sensitive military parts for Iran in violation of the trade embargo Iranian. In coordination with his co-conspirators, Ansari obtained and attempted to obtain parts with dual-use military and civilian capability that could be used in systems such as nuclear weapons, missile guidance and development, communications secure tactical radio, offensive electronic warfare, electronic countermeasures (radio jamming) and radar surveillance and warning systems. The equipment Ansari helped try to obtain could be used to test these other weapon systems.

“Ansari and his co-conspirators attempted to profit from a far-reaching plan to evade US sanctions against Iran. They repeatedly lied to many US suppliers and illegally obtained highly sensitive dual-use items, ”said Acting Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. “As this lawsuit demonstrates, the DOJ pursues those who threaten the national security of the United States, even years after their initial crimes. “

“The Iranian trade embargo serves an important purpose in protecting the United States and our allies,” said US Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas. “As federal law enforcement prosecutors, we will continue to identify, investigate and prosecute violations of the IEEPA.”

“Those considering breaking US laws designed to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of our adversaries should take note; the FBI has a long memory and will engage with all its partners, including those overseas, to bring matters to justice, ”said Deputy Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the Counterintelligence Division from the FBI. “We urge anyone with information about sanctions violations against Iran to contact the FBI.”

“This case is an example of the hard work and diligence over many years on behalf of the FBI and our federal partners to ensure that those who threaten our national security are brought to justice,” said the special agent in charge. Christopher Combs. from the FBI field office in San Antonio. “Without the support and actions of the Republic of Georgia, it is possible that Mr. Ansari did not have to face the consequences of his actions, so we are grateful and grateful for their help.”

“This case reaffirms the determination and commitment of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to secure the homeland by targeting foreign actors who attempt to procure sensitive technologies by exploiting US export laws,” said Craig Larrabee, Acting Special Agent for the HSI Field Office in San Antonio. . “This effort reflects the commitment of American law enforcement agencies to identify, investigate and apprehend criminals wherever they are in the world, and to bring these individuals to justice. HSI will continue to work with its law enforcement and government partners to address critical vulnerabilities that threaten the country’s national security.

“This conviction is the result of a very successful joint investigative effort with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas,” Special Agent in Charge Trey said. McClish of the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Safety. of the Export Enforcement (OEE) Office in Houston. “OEE is fully committed to protecting national security by disrupting the efforts of our adversaries to violate US export controls and procure sensitive military technology. “

On May 7, a federal jury in San Antonio convicted Ansari on one count of conspiracy to violate Iran’s Transaction Regulations (RTI), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the US Department of the Treasury and two counts. for aiding and abetting to make false statements. Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Ansari attempted to tranship test material obtained from the United States by the co-defendants, Taiwanese citizen Susan Yip, alias Susan Yeh, and Iranian citizen Mehrdad Foomanie, alias Frank Foomanie, using the companies of Ansari, Gulf Gate Sea Cargo LLC and Global Merchant LLC, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

From October 9, 2007 to June 15, 2011, Yip and Foomanie obtained or attempted to obtain from companies around the world over 105,000 coins valued at approximately $ 2,630,800 involving over 1,250 transactions. The defendants made 599 transactions with 63 different US companies in which they obtained or attempted to obtain parts from US companies without notifying the US companies that these parts were being shipped to Iran or without obtaining the required US government license to ship these parts. coins in Iran. The defendant’s primary role was to obtain a particular set of coins from a central Texas company which was the key to the Iranian government testing on all other coins.

At no time have Yip, Foomanie or Ansari, individually or through any of their companies, applied for or received a required license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury. United States or Department of Commerce export license to ship any item. listed in this indictment to the Republic of Iran.

Iran’s transaction regulations prohibit, among other things, the export, re-export, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, to Iran or the Iranian government, of any good, technology or service from the United States. or by a person from the United States. The embargo also prohibits any transaction by any person in or within the United States that circumvents or avoids, or is intended to circumvent or avoid, any prohibitions set out in the executive orders.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice; US Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI Field Office in San Antonio; Acting Special Agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Craig Larrabee; Special Agent in Charge Michael Mentalvos of the South West Regional Office of the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS); and Acting Special Agent Trey McClish, Bureau of Industry and Safety, Bureau of Industry and Export Safety, Dallas Field Office, made the announcement today.

In October 2012, Yip was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate RTI by acting as a broker and middleman for Foomanie to buy items in the United States and have them shipped illegally to the United States. Iran. Mehrdad Foomanie remains a fugitive.

The FBI, HSI, Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, and Defense Criminal Investigation Service have investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. prosecutors Mark Roomberg, William R. Harris, and Kelly Stevenson continued this case.


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