WASHINGTON—Two Rochester, Mich. siblings have been indicted for exporting telecommunications and other equipment to Iraq during an embargo with that country, along with related charges, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth L. Wainstein and U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy and announced today.
Charged in the indictment were Dawn Hanna, 34, and her brother Darrin Hanna, 29. Darrin Hanna is the president and sole owner of Technology Integration Group Services, Inc. (“TIGS”), a Rochester company. Dawn Hanna is employed by TIGS as the director of sales and marketing.
Wainstein and Murphy were joined in the announcement by Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent In Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Maurice Aouate, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI.
The 10-count indictment charges that the Hannas conspired with others to obtain and ship the components for a mobile telecommunications network and GPS equipment to Iraq. The shipments and attempted shipments came during the administration of Saddam Hussein in the period leading up to the 2003 invasion by coalition forces.
The indictment also alleges that the Hannas conspired to launder money in connection with the conspiracy. According to the indictment, the Hannas received approximately $9.5 million from their dealings, which they used to pay suppliers, a middle man and themselves. Dawn Hanna is also charged with making false statements to investigators.
In 1990, an embargo was declared with Iraq, making it illegal to deal in property intended for export to Iraq. The embargo was lifted in May 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
“While these defendants profited handsomely from their alleged violations of the Iraq embargo, this indictment shows that there is a price to be paid for illegally trading with outlaw regimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Wainstein.
U.S. Attorney Murphy said, “Evading the US trade embargo on a hostile regime like Saddam Hussein’s is a serious crime with punishing consequences that cannot be ignored. I applaud the excellent work by IRS, ICE and the FBI in investigating this crime.”
ICE Special Agent in Charge Moskowitz said, “For sanctions to be effective they need to be enforced. The investigation and prosecution of this case should leave no doubt that the United States expects its sanctions to be followed."
IRS Special Agent in Charge Aouate said, “Illicit trade with Iraq is a crime that revolves around an enormous amount of money. IRS Criminal Investigation has the financial investigators and expertise that is essential in locating this money even when it is sheltered from detection or involves financial outlets worldwide.”
If convicted on the charges each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Any sentence in this case will be imposed under the federal Sentencing Guidelines based on the nature of the offense and the criminal background, if any, of the defendants.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by special agents of ICE, the IRS and the FBI.