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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
06/03/2011

Broomall man sentenced for illegal business transactions with Iran

Operated in the United States through a Pennsylvania corporation

PHILADELPHIA - A Broomall man was sentenced Friday in a scheme to ship items from the United States to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on that country and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

Mohammad Reza Vaghari, 43, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for crimes related to his participation in illegal business transactions with Iran between 2002 and 2005. This conviction stems from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service and the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Vaghari was convicted in February 2011 on multiple federal charges, and of one count of Naturalization Fraud stemming from his attempt to procure U.S. citizenship in 2004.

Vaghari operated in the United States through a Pennsylvania corporation called Saamen Company, purchasing items from other American companies and exporting the items to co-conspirators in the United Arab Emirates, who would then deliver the items to customers in Iran.

According to 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 from the United States.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois ordered 3 years of supervised release and a $400 special assessment.