WASHINGTON—Mansour Moghtaderi Zadeh, 56, an Iranian national, pled guilty today 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.
The plea, which took place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was announced by Mary B. McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. Etre, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston, and Special Agent in Charge Michael Imbrogna, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Boston.
Zadeh, who had been living in Iran, pled guilty 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. 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. Senior Judge Paul L. Friedman scheduled sentencing for Dec. 14, 2016.
In plea documents filed today, Zadeh acknowledged that beginning in October 2005, Iranian companies requested that Zadeh through his company, Barsan, procure products, including, a fiber optic video transmitter and receiver and aviation course indicators that would otherwise require a license from the 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 United States Department of Commerce pending certification of the end user. In October 2007, the Department of Commerce 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 resin, sealant, paint, pneumatic grease, film adhesive, and polyurethane coating and thinner. The post-TDO conduct included more than $69,000 of exported goods.
“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 Phillips. “Working with our law enforcement partners, we will use every tool at our disposal to enforce export laws.”
“Disrupting and dismantling the sale of controlled items, especially those with military value, to foreign powers is a critical federal law enforcement mission, and is one in which HSI has a long history of excellence,” said Special Agent in Charge Etre. “HSI will continue to track down those who attempt to profit by the illegal sale and export of our military technologies.”
In announcing the plea, Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Special Agent in Charge Etre, and Special Agent in Charge Imbrogna commended the work of the Special Agents who investigated the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Jorge Casillas, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frederick W. Yette and Jeffrey Pearlman, who prosecuted the case. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Trial Attorney Thea Kendler, of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES).