California Company and Its CEO Sentenced for Conspiring to Illegally Export Industrial Valves to Iran
WASHINGTON – GWC Valve International Inc., a company headquartered in Bakersfield, Calif., and its chief executive officer, David Meador, 52, were sentenced today in the Eastern District of California for conspiracy to export services related to industrial valves to Iran.
The sentences were announced by Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, and John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
At a hearing in federal court in Fresno, Calif., U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced GWC Valve International to a criminal fine of $300,000 and five years of corporate probation and ordered the company to forfeit $410,833.82. The judge also sentenced Meador to 13 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The government has already received $110,000 in payments from the defendants.
On June 24, 2010, both GWC Valve International and Meador pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions Regulations. According to court documents filed in the case, between July 2005 and May 2008, Meador and others conspired to cause the export of financial and technical services related to the sale of the industrial valves to Iran without having first obtained the required licenses and authorization from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in commercial transactions involving Iran.
As part of the conspiracy, GWC and Meador received orders from customers in Iran for industrial valves, totaling more than $2.16 million, then entered into contracts with these customers and caused the valves to be manufactured on behalf of Iranian customers. The defendants also concealed that Iranian customers were the true recipients of the valves by once falsely asserting that the GWC office in the United Arab Emirates was the end user of the goods and on several occasions altering or omitting references to the Iranian banks and end-users in correspondence about the sales.
This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee of the Counterespionage Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Duce Rice of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.