Mehrdad Ansari, 40, a resident of the United Arab Emirates and Germany, was convicted by a federal jury in May 2021 for his role in a scheme to obtain military sensitive parts for Iran in violation of the Iranian Trade Embargo. In coordination with his co-conspirators, Ansari obtained and attempted to obtain parts that had dual-use military and civilian capability and could be used in such systems as nuclear weapons, missile guidance and development, secure tactical radio communications, offensive electronic warfare, military electronic countermeasures (radio jamming) and radar warning and surveillance systems. The equipment Ansari helped try to obtain could be used to test these other weapon systems.
“Ansari and his co-conspirators attempted to profit from a far-reaching, extensive scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. They repeatedly lied to numerous U.S. suppliers and illegally obtained very sensitive dual-use items,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “As demonstrated by this prosecution, DOJ pursues those who threaten U.S. national security, even years after their original crimes.”
“The Iranian Trade Embargo serves an important purpose in the protection of the United States and our allies,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas. “As prosecutors tasked with enforcing federal law, we will continue to identify, investigate and pursue violations of the IEEPA.”
On May 7, a San Antonio federal jury convicted Ansari of one count of conspiracy to violate the Iranian Transaction Regulations (ITR), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury and two counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements. Evidence presented during trial revealed that Ansari attempted to transship testing equipment obtained from the U.S. by co-defendants Taiwanese citizen Susan Yip, aka Susan Yeh, and Iranian citizen Mehrdad Foomanie, aka Frank Foomanie, using Ansari’s companies, Gulf Gate Sea Cargo LLC and Global Merchant LLC, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
From Oct. 9, 2007 to June 15, 2011, Yip and Foomanie obtained or attempted to obtain from companies worldwide over 105,000 parts valued at approximately $2,630,800 involving more than 1,250 transactions. The defendants conducted 599 transactions with 63 different U.S. companies in which they obtained or attempted to obtain parts from U.S. companies without notifying the U.S. companies these parts were being shipped to Iran or getting the required U.S. government license to ship these parts to Iran. The defendant’s main role was to get one particular set of parts from a Central Texas company that was key for the Iranian government’s testing of all other parts.
At no time did Yip, Foomanie or Ansari, individually or through any of their companies, ever apply for or receive either a required U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license or Department of Commerce export license to ship any item listed in this indictment to the Republic of Iran.
Iranian Transaction Regulations prohibit, among other things, the exportation, re-exportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, to Iran or the Government of Iran, of any goods, technology or services from the U.S. or by a U.S. person. The embargo also prohibits any transaction by any U.S. person or within the U.S. that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, any prohibition set forth in the Executive Orders.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Michael Mentalvos of Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southwest Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Trey McClish of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement, Dallas Field Office made today’s announcement.
In October 2012, Yip was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate the ITR by acting as a broker and conduit for Foomanie to buy items in the U.S. and have them unlawfully shipped to Iran. Mehrdad Foomanie remains a fugitive.
Nuclear Weapon Program
Missile Weapon Program
Reason for the color:
» Iranian National Sentenced for Illegally Exporting Military Sensitive Items;