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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
06/11/2009

Aviation company owner sentenced in conspiracy to export military aircraft parts to Iran

MIAMI - A man charged with conspiracy to illegally export military aircraft parts to Iran was sentenced to 35 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Defense investigation.

Traian Bujduveanu pleaded guilty on April 2, 2009, to conspiracy to export and cause the export of goods from the United States to the Islamic Republic Iran, in violation of the embargo imposed upon that country by the United States and in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and to export and cause to be exported defense articles in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

As part of his plea, Bujduveanu admitted that he used his Plantation, Fla., corporation, Orion Aviation, to sell aircraft parts to Hassan Keshari for purchasers in Iran and exported the aircraft parts to Iran by way of freight forwarders in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Among the aircraft parts illegally exported to Iran through the conspiracy were parts designed exclusively for the F-14 Fighter Jet, the Cobra AH-1 Attack Helicopter, and the CH-53A Military Helicopter. All of these aircraft are part of the Iranian military fleet, while the F-14 is known to be used exclusively by the Iranian military. Moreover, all of the parts supplied by Bujduveanu as part of the conspiracy are manufactured in the United States, designed exclusively for military use, and have been designated by the U.S. Department of State as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List, thus requiring registration and licensing with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Neither Bujduveanu nor his co-defendants are registered or had the required licenses to ship defense articles to Iran.

Bujduveanu received orders by email from Keshari requesting specific aircraft parts for buyers in Iran. Bujduveanu then provided quotes, usually by e-mail, to Keshari. After the receipt of payment for the parts from Keshari, Bujduveanu then shipped the parts to a company in Dubai through the use of a false or misleading shipping document. From Dubai, the parts were then shipped on to the purchasers in Iran.

Bujduveanu's co-defendant, Hassan Keshari, and his corporation, Kesh Air International, were sentenced in May 2009.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Damian and Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee, of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.