May 17, 2021

Maryland businessman accused of importing Iranian currency into US charged with IEEPA violation

On May 13, 2021, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment of two Maryland businessmen, Richard Allan Boyd and Lee Ryan Fondiller, on federal charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and others, for engaging in a scheme to import foreign currencies from suppliers outside of the US, including the Iranian rial and Iraqi dinar.  Boyd was also charged with violating of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) for importing Iranian rial banknotes into the US.  The 32-count indictment was unsealed at Boyd’s initial court appearance in the US District Court in Baltimore on May 10, 2021, and both defendants were released from custody pending trial.

According to the indictment, from at least 2016 to 2018, Boyd and Fondiller used Boyd’s business, Amoyeshua Enterprises, to market foreign currencies and accept orders for Iranian rial and Iraqi dinar from customers in the US and elsewhere, then conspired to fraudulently obtain the currency by falsely representing to financial institutions that the wire transfers were for jewelry, watches and other items.  Boyd and Fondiller allegedly caused more than $300,000 to be fraudulently wired to banks in Jordan.  

In February of 2016, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in New York allegedly seized packages of rials that were shipped from Jordan and addressed to Boyd, his customers and family members, after confirming with the Office of Foreign Assets Control that the importation of rials was prohibited by IEEPA and the Iran Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). The CBP also notified Boyd and the others in March and April of 2016 that the importation of Iranian rials was prohibited by law; however, Boyd allegedly continued to sell and distribute rials to customers in the US until 2018 without ever obtaining a license or authorization from OFAC.

DOJ Press Release | Indictment