An Iranian businessman schemed to illegally export from Illinois aluminum tubing used in the missile and aerospace industries, according to an indictment made public Thursday in federal court in Chicago.
The size and type of aluminum was subject to U.S. regulations covering nuclear nonproliferation purposes, the indictment alleged.
The alleged smuggling plot by Saeed Valadbaigi of Iran in 2011 was part of an effort to evade U.S. laws and export-control regulations, the charges alleged.
Valadbaigi, 56, who is considered a fugitive, was charged in the eight-count indictment in July 2016 in federal court in Chicago. The indictment was ordered unsealed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin, court records show.
The indictment charged the Iranian businessman with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and one count each of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., illegally export articles from the U.S. and making false statements on a U.S. export form.
A warrant for Valadbaigi’s arrest was issued in 2016 and remains outstanding, prosecutors said.
The government motion to unseal the indictment gave no hint why prosecutors chose to do that now.
The indictment charged that in addition to the aluminum tubing, Valadbaigi illegally exported to Iran titanium sheets from a company in northern Illinois. The material was routed through the Republic of Georgia, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysis, all locations where Valadbaigi controlled companies, prosecutors alleged.
The charges also alleged that Valadbaigi ordered acrylic sheets from a company in Connecticut in 2012 and falsely claimed they would be used in Hong Kong. He later arranged for them to be shipped to Iran, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the charges against Valadbaigi are part of an investigation that resulted in a conviction in Chicago’s federal court of Nicholas Kaiga, who managed a Belgium company that did business with the Iranian.
Kaiga pleaded guilty to violating U.S. export-control regulations, admitting he used his company, Industrial Metals and Commodities, as an intermediary to export the aluminum tubing from the northern Illinois company to Belgium and then Malaysia on Valadbaigi’s behalf. He was sentenced in 2015 to two years and three months in federal prison.
Source » jg-tc