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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
03/20/2018

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Iranian national sentenced in Minnesota to 15 months in federal prison for conspiring to illegally export restricted technology to Iran

MINNEAPOLIS — An Iranian national, who was arrested in New York City, was sentenced in Minneapolis Tuesday to 15 months in prison for his role in illegally exporting restricted technology to his home country.

This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement

Aliereza Jalali, 39, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen in the District of Minnesota, on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He pleaded guilty to the charge on Nov. 29, 2017.

“U.S. export controls are in place to keep sensitive technology from falling into the hands of our nation's enemies,” said Special Agent in Charge Tracy Cormier of HSI St. Paul. “One of HSI's highest priorities is to prevent illicit procurement networks, terrorist groups, and hostile nations from illegally obtaining military items and controlled dual-use technology.”

“Jalali and his co-conspirators illegally sent sensitive military-use technology to Iran, where it could fall into the hands of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in clear violation of U.S. law,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “This is a threat to the national security of the United States and our allies, and we will aggressively prosecute those who brazenly violate our export control laws.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert C. Bone II of the FBI Minneapolis Division stated, “This multi-year investigation highlights the importance of preventing U.S. origin technology from being transferred to unauthorized end users. Fana Moj has designed components for the Iranian military's missile systems. We must prevent U.S. technology from falling into the wrong hands, where it could be used against our military members.”

Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) Special Agent in Charge Dan Clutch said: “A top priority of OEE is identifying and disrupting the illicit export of controlled technology to Iran.  OEE will continue to collaborate with its law enforcement partners to combat these criminal schemes that threaten U.S. national security.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, from 2009 through December 2015, Jalali was a part-time employee of Green Wave Telecommunication, Sdn Bhn, (Green Wave) a Malaysian company located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since its incorporation in 2009, Green Wave operated as a front company for Fanavar Moj Khavar (Fana Moj), an Iran-based company that specializes in both broadcast communications and microwave communications.

As part of this conspiracy, Green Wave was used to acquire unlawfully sensitive export-controlled technology from the United States on behalf of Fana Moj. In order to accomplish these acquisitions, Jalali and his co-conspirators concealed the ultimate unlawful destination and end users of the exported technology through false statements, unlawful financial transactions, and other means.

The defendant’s co-conspirators contacted producers of the sought-after technology, solicited purchase agreements, and negotiated the purchase and delivery of the goods with the seller. When the goods were received by Green Wave in Malaysia, Jalali repackaged and unlawfully exported the items from Malaysia to Fana Moj in Tehran, Iran. In 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury placed Fana Moj on its list of “Specially Designated Nationals” for providing financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC.   

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats and Trial Attorney David Recker of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, with assistance provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas M. Pravda for the Eastern District of New York.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/16/2018