- United Arab Emirates
ATLANTA – A federal jury has convicted Jalal Hajavi of conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“ITSR”), smuggling goods from the United States, unlawfully exporting and reexporting goods from the U.S. to Iran without a license, and unlawfully engaging in transactions and dealings based on his participation in a scheme to unlawfully export heavy equipment from the U.S. to Iran by routing the shipments though the United Arab Emirates.
“Hajavi chose to leverage his Florida business to illegally export materials to Iran rather than to lawfully contribute to the U.S. economy,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “The U.S. trade sanctions against Iran exist to help keep our country and citizens safe. Those who seek to profit by evading these prohibitions will be held accountable.”
“Falsifying export documents in an attempt to obfuscate the transshipment of U.S. commodities through the United Arab Emirates to Iran is a serious violation of U.S. export laws, and will be vigorously investigated,” said John Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Export Enforcement’s Miami Field Office. “By disrupting illicit procurement networks, we continue to deny U.S. dual-use commodities to countries such as Iran that threaten U.S. national security interests.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: Hajavi, through his company JSH Heavy Equipment, LLC, conspired with an individual in Iran to export U.S. heavy machinery indirectly to Iran without first obtaining the required licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). Hajavi orchestrated the scheme by locating heavy equipment for sale, such as bobcats and wheel loaders, and sending information about the equipment to his co-conspirator in Iran. Hajavi purchased the items from U.S. sellers and used freight forwarding companies to ship the heavy equipment from the U.S. to the U.A.E. Hajavi falsely claimed that the items were destined for his U.A.E. customers, which typically were general trading companies located in free trade zones in the U.A.E. But in truth, Hajavi intended for his Iranian co-conspirator to transship those items from the U.A.E. to Iran in circumvention of the U.S. export licensing requirement.
Utilizing this scheme, Hajavi purchased an Ingersoll Rand blasthole drill from a U.S. company. The drill is a type of heavy machinery used to create holes in the ground that are usually then filled with controlled charges. In a sham transaction, Hajavi sold the drill to a U.A.E. company that, in turn, provided the drill to Hajavi’s Iranian co-conspirator, who shipped the tool to Iran.
In addition to evading OFAC licensing requirements, Hajavi concealed his activities with his Iranian co-conspirator by causing false information to be entered into the Automated Export System (“AES”), a U.S. government database containing information about exports from the United States. Hajavi hired a U.S. freight forwarder to arrange the drill’s export from the U.S. to the U.A.E. As part of the shipping process, the freight forwarder submitted information to AES about the shipment, including the ultimate consignee’s name and the ultimate delivery destination. Hajavi lied to the freight forwarder by claiming that the U.A.E. company was the ultimate consignee and that the ultimate delivery destination was the U.A.E. In fact, Hajavi’s co-conspirator in Iran was the true recipient and Iran was the ultimate delivery destination.
Sentencing for Jalal Hajavi, 59, of Sterling, Virginia, is scheduled for December 14, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracia M. King and Trial Attorney Emma Dinan Ellenrieder of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.