An Iranian company, its subsidiaries and several of its officers and business partners have been charged in Alexandria, Va., for allegedly exporting more than $30 million in computer goods from U.S. companies to Iran, in violation of trade sanctions imposed on Iran, the U.S. Justice Department said.
“BMWW (Business Machinery World Wide) is accused of taking meticulous steps to get around the embargo – and allegedly made profits hand over fist doing so,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a statement.
Charged through an indictment and criminal complaint include BMWW, an Iranian corporation based in Tehran, three of its subsidiary companies located in Dubai, and nine officers and individuals. They are accused of conspiring to defraud the United States and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. If convicted, those charged face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
The indictment and criminal complaint were made public after two alleged conspirators – Alireza Beshcari and Mikaeil Ghahramani – were arrested in Los Angeles, the Justice Department said.
According to the indictment, beginning in 2008, BMWW began soliciting and receiving computer goods from the United States knowing that this conduct was prohibited under U.S. law. To avoid detection when shipping the goods from the United States to Iran, BMWW sent the computer equipment to its subsidiary companies in the United Arab Emirates where similar trade restrictions are not imposed. “These subsidiaries were created solely to illicitly transship the U.S. goods to Iran and evade the export embargo,” the department said.
From May 2010 through April 2011, the indictment alleges officers at BMWW, while in Iran, ordered nearly $320,000 in digital media equipment from a company based in Burke, Va. The equipment was shipped to a BMWW subsidiary in Dubai and then forwarded on to Iran.
Those charged include:
- BMWW (Jahan Gostar Co.), the parent company operating in Iran.
- BMWW DWC, which later changed its name to Servex DWC, a subsidiary of BMWW based in Dubai that allegedly received $2.8 million in U.S.-origin goods for transshipment to Iran.
- Ariana General Trading, a subsidiary of BMWW based in Dubai that allegedly received more than $28 million in U.S.-origin goods for transshipment to Iran.
- Alireza Faraj Tabrizy (Ali Faraji), an Iranian citizen and the managing director of BMWW, Ariana and Servex.
- Siyavash Aliakbar Yazdanfar, an Iranian citizen and BMWW’s international affairs manager.
- Ayoub Ali Ahmadi, former lead manager at Ariana and current lead manager for Servex allegedly responsible for coordinating transshipment of U.S.-origin goods from Dubia to Iran.
- Michelle Liboon Diaz, former front-line manager at Ariana and current front-line manager at Servex allegedly responsible for coordinating transshipment of U.S.-origin goods from Dubia to Iran.
- Esmaeil Ghahremani, an Iranian citizen with ties to the United States who allegedly relies on BMWW to unlawfully export U.S.-origin goods to Iran through Dubai.
- Ehsan Mahmoud Ghorbanali Barati, an Iranian citizen who allegedly relies on BMWW to unlawfully export U.S.-origin goods to Iran through Dubai.
- Amir Mazlomian, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Iranian descent living in Newport Coast, Calif., and an officer with D&A Trading Corp., which has allegedly shipped nearly $300,000 in computer-related goods to Iran through BMWW and Ariana.
- Alirez Beshcari, a citizen of the Netherlands and a legal permanent resident in the U.S. living in Laguna Niguel, Calif., who owns ATA Trade Co., which has allegedly shipped nearly $800,000 in electronic goods to Iran through BMWW and Ariana.
- Mikaeil Ghahramani, of Santa Ana, Calif., who owns Notebook Spectrum, which has allegedly shipped nearly $2 million in electronic equipment to Iran through BMWW and Ariana.