An Iranian national has been convicted by a US federal jury for violating trade embargos and illegally exporting military sensitive items to Iran, the US Justice Department announced in a statement Friday.
Mehrdad Ansari, 39, is an Iranian citizen but is also a resident of Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the Justice Department, over the course of several years, Ansari was involved with two others, identified as Susan Yip (also known as Susan Yeh) from Taiwan and Mehrdad Foomanie (also known as Frank Foomanie) of Iran, to ship cargo from the US. This was to be done through the use of Ansari’s two Dubai-based companies, gulf Gate Sea Cargo LLC and Global Merchant LLC.
From October 9, 2007 to June 15, 2011, the trio obtained or attempted to obtain over 105,000 items, which altogether valued around $2.63 million. To do this, they had to conduct around 599 transactions from 63 US companies. All of this was done without notifying the US that they were going to ship these items to Iran, and without getting a license from the US Treasury or Commerce Department that would allow them to do so.
Ultimately, a federal jury convicted Ansari of multiple counts of conspiracy and two counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements. Adding the charges together, he could end up facing as much as 50 years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for September 1.
His co-conspirator, Yip, had pled guilty in 2012 and spent two years in prison. Foomanie currently remains a fugitive and is still at large.
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