Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
Monday, November 17, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Two Charged with Illegal Trading with Iran

PHILADELPHIA – Laurie Magid, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Mohammad Reza Vaghari, 41, of Broomall, PA, and Mir Hossein Ghaemi, 42, of Edgewood, MD, with crimes relating to their participation in illegal business transactions with Iran between in or about 2002 and present.

Both defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and Vaghari is charged with three additional substantive counts of violating IEEPA. Finally, Vaghari is also charged with attempting to procure U.S. citizenship by fraud and possessing immigration documents that were procured by fraud.

According to the indictment, the defendants operated in this country through a Pennsylvania corporation called Saamen Company. The American-based conspirators would purchase items from American companies, export the items to the United Arab Emirates, and co-conspirators in the U.A.E. would then deliver the items to customers in Iran. The indictment further alleges that Vaghari made false statements in connection with his attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship in or about November 2004, and that, since 1998, he has possessed a permanent resident card that had been procured by fraud.

If convicted of all charges, Vaghari faces a maximum sentence of 85 years imprisonment, a $3,750,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $600 in special assessments; Ghaemi faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Commerce. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Miller.

An Indictment or Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.