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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
10/18/2012

Tampa man sentenced for exporting millions of dollars of computer equipment to Iran

TAMPA, Fla. – A Tampa man was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transaction Regulations. He was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release and forfeit $10 million, which was traceable to proceeds from the offense. This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Export Enforcement.

According to court documents, between 2003 and 2011, Mohammad Reza "Ray" Hajian, 57, of Tampa, conspired with others to unlawfully export sophisticated, enterprise-level computer and related equipment from the United States to Iran, in violation of the U.S. embargo. In an effort to conceal their activities, Hajian and his co-conspirators routed shipments of computers and related equipment, payments and travel between the United States and Iran through the United Arab Emirates. Hajian and his co-conspirators communicated with each other via email. They employed fake identities, fake end-users and coded language to mask the true nature of their activities. Hajian shipped approximately $14.85 million worth of computer and related equipment during the conspiracy.

"The magnitude and scope of the threats facing the United States has never been greater than today, and that's why Homeland Security Investigations investigates individuals who try to export sensitive technologies to hostile nations," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "Homeland Security Investigations takes pride in protecting our country, and today's sentencing is the latest example of our effective investigative efforts."

"Today's sentencing demonstrates the ongoing cooperation with our federal law enforcement partners to prevent U.S. technology from falling into the wrong hands. In this case, a key Iranian procurement network which could have been damaging to U.S. national security was shut down," said Robert Luzzi, special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Industry and Security's Office of Export Enforcement Miami Field Office. "Parties who conspire to export to embargoed destinations such as Iran will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Hajian pleaded guilty July 11. Three of his companies, RH International LLC, Nexiant LLC, and P & P Computers LLC, also pleaded guilty that same day.