Two Texas residents, Zhenyu “Bill” Wang and Daniel Ray Lane were convicted in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on charges of attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The men were arrested in February 2020, along with Texas residents Nicholas James Fuchs and Robert Thwaites, and Nicholas Hovan of New York. Subsequently, in August 2020, an indictment was filed against all but Mr. Fuchs. The indictment alleges that in 2019 and 2020, the defendants conspired to arrange for the purchase of petroleum from Iran for re-sale to a refinery in the People’s Republic of China, in violation of IEEPA and US sanctions against Iran, which prohibit US persons from purchasing petroleum products from Iran. The indictment also alleges that the co-conspirators anticipated making millions of dollars monthly from the scheme, and that they planned to conceal the origin of the petroleum by laundering the proceeds through offshore entities, and by bribing a Chinese official.
Wang and Lane were convicted after trial, and are scheduled to be sentenced in February 2024.