A federal grand jury has charged a 74-year-old Southern Nevada man with conspiracy to violate the United State’s embargo on Iran after he allegedly sold Russian-made tank helmets to someone in the Middle East’s second largest country.
The three-count indictment charges Richard Lant, of Las Vegas, and Dariush Niknia, 56, from California’s Elk Grove, with engaging in prohibited trade-related transactions with Iran, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
The USA Today Network made several unsuccessful attempts to reach both Lant and Niknia by telephone for comment.
Between May and October 2015, according to the indictment, Niknia and Lant conspired to unlawfully sell and supply 500 Russian-made tank helmets to Niknia’s contact in Tehran, Iran.
Niknia contacted Lant, who operated R&L Ltd., a company that sold Russian items, according to the indictment, and requested to purchase a Tehran-bound shipment of 500 helmets. Niknia initially paid Lant’s company for two sample tank helmets and shipment from Russia to Iran.
After Ninkia’s customer approved the second sample tank helmet, the indictment said, Niknia paid Lant additional money to purchase 50 more tank helmets for shipment to Iran.
Enforced through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, the embargo on Iran prohibits the export, sale and supply of goods to Iran by anyone in the United States. It also prohibits engagement in any transaction or business dealing related to the sale or supply of goods to Iran.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shelley D. Weger is prosecuting.
If convicted, Niknia and Lant face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Source » rgj