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NEWARK, N.J. - A former manager of a Netherlands-based freight-forwarding company pleaded guilty today for conspiring to defraud the United States by facilitating the illegal export of goods to Iran, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Ulrich Davis, 50, a Dutch citizen of Pumerend, The Netherlands, pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with conspiracy to defraud the United States through the violation of a U.S. Department of Commerce Temporary Denial Order ("TDO"). Davis entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court.
According to the Information to which Davis pleaded guilty, other documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Davis was the sales and business development manager for a company described in the Information as the "Netherlands Freight Forwarding Company" in 2007 and 2008. The Netherlands Freight Forwarding company was affiliated with a New York-based freight-forwarding company.
During that time, Davis facilitated shipments to be made to Iran without the necessary authorization from the United States government and in violation of the law.
In October 2007, an assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement - at the behest of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") through its Office of Export Enforcement - issued a Temporary Denial Order (TDO) denying export privileges to the company of Davis' coconspirator under the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR"). The TDO prohibited any person, which included Davis, from directly or indirectly exporting or reexporting to or on behalf of the coconspirator, among others.
The coconspirator, who was located in another country, purchased U.S. origin goods from a New Jersey company, among other companies, for businesses and governmental agencies of Iran. The New Jersey company was in the business of reselling chemicals, lubricants, sealants and other products used in the aircraft industry.
As part of the conspiracy, Davis and his coconspirator directed the New York Freight Forwarding company to arrange for a trucking company to pick up commodities from the New Jersey company and transport them to New York on behalf of the coconspirator's company.
Davis admitted that in November 2007, he completed an air waybill that represented certain acrylic adhesives and spray paint coatings obtained from a New Jersey company were to be forwarded on behalf of the co-conspirator's company to a company in Iran after issuance of the TDO.
In a January 2008 e-mail regarding the shipments, Davis noted that, "99% of these goods were destined to be send [sic] to Teheran [sic]/Iran, which was and still is a very difficult destination due to political reasons. We have handled shipments to Teheran [sic] for various customers who had to shut down their operation because they were doing business with Teheran [sic]/Iran and inspite [sic] of the risk we take we always handled your shipments in a good manner."
Davis acknowledged that at no time was any relief, exception, or other authorization sought from the TDO.
The count to which Davis pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for May 15, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of BIS, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John McKenna, and New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Sidney Simon, with the investigation. He also thanked the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Boston Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bruce Foucart, and Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; and Defense Criminal Investigative Service, New Haven Resident Office, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Kathryn Feeney, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce Malliet of the U.S. Attorney's Office National Security Unit in Newark and Trial Attorneys Jonathan Poling and Elizabeth Cannon of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.