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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
03/02/2011

Arizona business owner sentenced for illegal business transactions with Iran

Digital microwave radios and other equipment shipped through other countries

WILMINGTON, Del. - An Arizona business owner was sentenced on Wednesday for his part in a scheme to ship sensitive technology items to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on that country under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

Vikramaditya Singh, 34, of Fountain Hills, Ariz., was sentenced to three years probation, six months' home confinement, and a $100,000 fine following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Singh pleaded guilty in November 2010 to one count of causing and attempting to cause the export to the Islamic Republic of Iran, digital microwave radios, without the required authorization from the Office of Foreign Asset Control, Department of the Treasury, in violation of federal law.

According to court documents, an undercover ICE HSI agent initiated contact with Singh following the arrest of Iranian procurement agent Amir Ardebili. A search of Ardebili's computer revealed email communication between Ardebili and Singh, culminating in Singh forwarding a price quote and bank account information to Ardebili for various items, including digital microwave radios.

Over a 20-month period, beginning in September 2008, and concluding with a search of Singh's business in May 2010, the agent contacted Singh multiple times to arrange to buy digital microwave radios. On two separate occasions, he knowingly violated U.S. export laws by exporting a pair of microwave radios that he believed were destined for Iran. The radios were shipped to Slovenia and Denmark, with plans to transship them to Iran. During an in-person meeting with the agent at his office in Arizona, Singh attempted to sell an additional 40 radios to the agent, which would be shipped through Spain to Iran.

"This case demonstrates the great lengths individuals will go who are motivated by the dollar, including the circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "HSI is committed to protecting Americans at home and overseas by bringing these criminals to justice."

According to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), U.S. persons are prohibited from exporting such technology to Iran without a license and without authorization from the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Moreover, according to sanctions imposed by the United States - specifically, a trade embargo pursuant to the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR) - it is illegal to export or sell such technology to Iran or the government of Iran.