WASHINGTON — An Iranian man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to taking part in a conspiracy involving the purchase and shipment of various products, including aviation parts and aviation supplies, from the United States to Iran without a license.
This guilty plea 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 Bureau of Industry and Security.
Mansour Moghtaderi Zadeh, 56, pleaded to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export goods, technology, and services to Iran without the required license, and to defraud the United States. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties.
“The prosecution of this case demonstrates that the United States will aggressively investigate and prosecute those who unlawfully export goods and technology for use in Iran,” said U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, of the District of Columbia. “Working with our law enforcement partners, we will use every tool at our disposal to enforce export laws.”
In documents filed in court, Zadeh acknowledged that beginning in October 2005, Iranian companies requested that Zadeh through his own company, Barsan, procure products including, a fiber optic video transmitter and receiver and aviation course indicators, that would otherwise require a license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to be exported to Iran. Members of the conspiracy arranged for the items to be sent from the United States to Iran, for which Zadeh received a commission.
In March 2007, Zadeh and co-conspirators attempted to export metal sheets and rods that are used in the aviation manufacturing industry from the United States to Iran, without the required license from OFAC. Zadeh had arranged for his new corporation, Lavantia, to purchase the items, and used an alias in his communications.
In September 2007, the shipment was detained by the U.S. Department of Commerce pending certification of the end user. In October 2007, the Department issued a Temporary Denial Order (TDO) against Lavantia and Zadeh (under his alias). The TDO prohibited Lavantia and Zadeh from participating in any way in exporting commodities from the United States. Notwithstanding the TDO, Zadeh and other conspirators exported and attempted to export numerous materials from the United States, including aviation-related resin, sealant, paint, pneumatic grease, film adhesive, and polyurethane coating and thinner. The post-TDO conduct included more than $69,000 of exported goods.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Zadeh faces a likely range of 46 to 57 months in prison and a potential fine of $20,000 to $200,000. His sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 14, 2016.