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WASHINGTON – A federal jury convicted an Iranian citizen and a resident of the United Arab Emirates and Germany, for scheming to obtain military sensitive parts for Iran in violation of the Iranian Trade Embargo. These parts had dual-use military and civilian capability and could be used in systems such as nuclear weapons, missile guidance and development, secure tactical radio communications, offensive electronic warfare, military electronic countermeasures (radio jamming), and radar warning and surveillance systems.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Mehrdad Ansari, 39, of Iran, attempted to transship and transshipped cargo obtained from the U.S. by co-defendants Taiwanese citizen Susan Yip, aka Susan Yeh, and Iranian citizen Mehrdad Foomanie, aka Frank Foomanie, using Ansari’s company Gulf Gate Sea Cargo LLC, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
From Oct. 9, 2007 to June 15, 2011, the defendants obtained or attempted to obtain from companies worldwide over 105,000 parts valued at approximately $2,630,800 involving more than 1,250 transactions. The defendants conducted 599 transactions with 63 different U.S. companies in which they obtained or attempted to obtain parts from U.S. companies without notifying the companies these parts were being shipped to Iran or getting the required U.S. government license to ship these parts to Iran.
At no time did Yip, Foomanie or Ansari, individually or through any of their companies, ever apply for or receive either a required U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license or Department of Commerce export license to ship any item listed in this indictment to the Republic of Iran.
Iranian Transaction Regulations prohibit, among other things, the exportation, re-exportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, to Iran or the Government of Iran, of any goods, technology or services from the U.S. or by a U.S. person. The embargo also prohibits any transaction by any U.S. person or within the U.S. that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, any prohibition set forth in the Executive Orders.
Ansari was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Iranian Transaction Regulations (ITR), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury and two counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 1 and faces a up to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to violate Iranian Trade Regulations; up to 5 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud; up to 5 years for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and up to 5 years on each count of the aiding and abetting the making of false statements. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
In October 2012, Yip was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate the ITR by acting as a broker and conduit for Foomanie to buy items in the U.S. and have them unlawfully shipped to Iran. Mehrdad Foomanie remains a fugitive.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Roomberg, William R. Harris and Kelly Stevenson are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by Deputy Chief for Export Control and Sanctions Elizabeth Cannon of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.