January 27, 2022

UK man pleads guilty to IEEPA violations

On January 25, 2022, Saber Fakih, a citizen of the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to conspiring to export more than $1 million of commercial and military-use technology from the United States to Iran without obtaining a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).  According to the statement of offense endorsed by the defendant, Fakih served as director, along with alleged co-conspirator Bader Fakih, of Ipaxiom Solutions, LLC in the UK and Canada.  Upon the request of Alireza Taghavi, an Iranian national, Fakih arranged for the purchase of an industrial microwave system from a Massachusetts company in the Spring of 2017, knowing that the system would be paid for by Iranians and was destined for Iran.  Fakih informed the Massachusetts company that the end user of the industrial microwave system was a company in Dubai; this false information caused another US company to file an incorrect electronic export information document with the US Customs and Border Protection.  Indeed, according to the statement of offense, Fakih had accepted the $15,000 offered by Taghavi, who explained the need for Fakih’s assistance to make the purchase because he, as an Iranian national, could not.  Ultimately, the industrial microwave system was seized by the CBP before being shipped abroad.  During the same period in 2017 and 2018, Saber Fakih also attempted to purchase two counter drone systems – also destined for Iran — from a Maryland company.

One of Fakih’s alleged co-conspirators, Iranian national Jalal Rohollahnejad, has been indicted in connection with the conspiracy.  Sentencing in Fakih’s case is scheduled for April 2022.

DOJ press release | Plea agreement | Statement of offense | Indictment (Rohollahnejad)