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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

Iranian citizen sentenced to 48 months for conspiracy to export high-performance electronics to Iran

WASHINGTON – An Iranian citizen has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for conspiracy to illegally export more than 3,000 electronic components from the United States to Iran through Hong Kong, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.

Arsalan Shemirani, 30, was also sentenced to forfeiture in the amount of $187,305.

Shemirani pleaded guilty Jan. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and to defraud the United States.

He was sentenced by Richard J. Leon Aug. 15 and the sentence was unsealed by the court and made public late Thursday.

According to court documents filed in the case, beginning as early as January 2010 and continuing through at least November 2011, Shemirani, with his brother in Iran and a coconspirator in Hong Kong, exported electronic parts from the United States to Iran, via Canada and Hong Kong, without first obtaining a license or authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of Treasury.

The defendant, who was residing in Canada during the time of the conspiracy, received purchase orders from his brother, who operated an electronics supply business in Tehran, Iran.

The items purchased by the defendant on behalf of the conspiracy included high performance electronic power equipment such as field programmable microchips, acceleration sensor semiconductors, analog converters, and other testing and power equipment. During the course of the conspiracy, the defendant purchased approximately 3,695 electronic components that were then illegally exported to his brother in Iran.

The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Spivey Urschel and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Bowman, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Brandon Van Grack from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.