On October 3, 2023, the Department of Justice announced that Farhad Nafeiy, a California-based telecommunications consultant, pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and to tax evasion in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The DOJ reports that the guilty plea was entered to resolve allegations that he upgraded software for telecommunications equipment located in Iran, in violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations and IIEPA. According to court documents, Nafeiy obtained licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control that permitted him to advise non-Iranian telecommunications companies on doing business with Iran. However, as part of his settlement with federal prosecutors, Nafeiy admitted that he exceeded the permissions in the OFAC license when he provided hardware, software or technology directly to Iran. He also admitted that he provided approximately $400,000 worth of software upgrades to Iran and failed to pay income taxes for some of the proceeds of these sales.
Nafeiy awaits sentencing, which is currently scheduled to occur on January 29, 2024.