ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Rockville, Md., man has been accused of allegedly exporting tens of thousands of dollars of industrial parts manufactured by U.S. companies to Iran, in violation of U.S. trade sanctions. He was charged Thursday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., and the Department of Commerce's Office of Export Enforcement's Washington Field Office.
Mehdi Khorramshahgol, 49, a U.S. citizen and Iranian national, was arrested on March 7 and charged via criminal complaint of conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to the complaint, beginning in 2008, Khorramghahgol allegedly solicited price quotations regarding U.S. origin-industrial parts for individuals and businesses located in Iran. Khorramshahgol successfully purchased thousands of dollars of U.S.-origin parts. To avoid detection and to facilitate the shipment of goods from the United States to Iran, Khorramshahgol allegedly falsified shipping records by indicating the goods were of little value and that the end-user for the goods was located in the United Arab Emirates. Once the goods reached the UAE, the end-user information was changed and the goods were shipped onward to Iran.
Khorramshahgol and his co-conspirators allegedly created paperwork that falsely stated the materials would not be sold to Iran. The complaint alleges that Khorramshahgol was aware of the United States sanctions against Iran, as he forwarded a Department of Justice press release regarding the enforcement of the Iranian sanctions to other co-conspirators with an instruction to "read it all."
During the course of the conspiracy, Khorramshahgol allegedly exported tens of thousands of dollars' worth of industrial parts to Iran. These parts were primarily for use in Iran's state-owned Petrochemical industry.