On January 12, 2021, the US Department of Justice announced charges filed against three Iranian nationals, who illegally exported US goods to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). More specifically, the three were charged with conspiracy to export US goods to Iran, conspiracy to smuggle goods from the US, and conspiracy to engage in international money laundering.
The DOJ reports that between January 2015 and February 2017, the three defendants fraudulently obtained sensitive items from US companies, including nine electrical discharge boards, one CPU board, two servo motors and two railroad crankshafts, that were ultimately sent to Iran in violation with economic sanctions. According to the indictment, the plan to obtain these items was devised while the defendants and their coconspirators were physically located outside of the US, in Iran and Canada, among others locations. They allegedly used third parties to arrange for the transport and payment of the goods, and provided false and misleading information to the US companies in order to hide their true end-use and destination of the goods. In further violation of US laws, the defendants failed to obtain necessary licenses before shipping the goods, that were routed through the United Arab Emirates before reaching their final destinations with individuals and entities in Iran.
If convicted on the export and smuggling charges, the defendants face a maximum fine of $250,000 and maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. If convicted on the money-laundering charge, they face a $500,000 fine and 20 years in federal prison.