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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Defendant Sentenced in Conspiracy to Export Military Aircraft Parts to Iran

Traian Bujduveanu was sentenced in Miami federal court for his role in a conspiracy to illegally export military and dual use aircraft parts to Iran.  Bujduveanu’s co-defendant, Hassan Keshari, and his corporation, Kesh Air International, were sentenced in May 2009.

U. S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz sentenced Bujduveanu to 35 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  Bujduveanu pled guilty on April 2, 2009, to Count 1 of the Indictment, which charged conspiracy to export and cause the export of goods from the U.S. to the Islamic Republic Iran, in violation of the Embargo imposed upon that country by the United States and in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Title 50, United States Code, 1705(a), and to export and cause to be exported defense articles, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778(b), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

As part of his plea, Bujduveanu, a Romanian national and naturalized U.S. citizen, admitted that he used his Plantation, Fla., corporation, Orion Aviation, to sell aircraft parts to Keshari for purchasers in Iran and exported the aircraft parts to Iran by way of freight forwarders in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Among the aircraft parts illegally exported to Iran through the conspiracy were parts designed exclusively for the F-14 Fighter Jet, the Cobra AH-1 Attack Helicopter, and the CH-53A Military Helicopter.  All of these aircraft are part of the Iranian military fleet, while the F-14 is known to be used exclusively by the Iranian military.  Moreover, all of the parts supplied by Bujduveanu as part of the conspiracy are manufactured in the U.S., are designed exclusively for military use, and have been designated by the U.S. Department of State as "defense articles" on the U.S. Munitions List, thus requiring registration and licensing with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.  Neither Bujduveanu nor his co-defendants are registered or had the required licenses to ship defense articles to Iran.

According to the Indictment and statements and documents filed with the court, Bujduveanu received orders by email from Keshari requesting specific aircraft parts for buyers in Iran.  Bujduveanu then provided quotes, usually by e-mail, to Keshari.  After the receipt of payment for the parts from Keshari, Bujduveanu then the parts to a company in Dubai through the use of false or misleading shipping document.  From Dubai, the parts were then shipped on to the purchasers in Iran.  

Bujduveanu has been in federal custody since his arrest in June 2008.  

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, for their work on this investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Damian.  Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee, of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, is providing assistance.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


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Updated September 15, 2014