Three Charged with Illegally Exporting Goods to Iran
The Justice Department announced today that three individuals have been charged in an indictment with conspiracy to export U.S. goods to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), as well as conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States, and conspiracy to engage in international money laundering.
“The defendants deceived U.S. companies, illegally obtained sensitive U.S. items, and transshipped those items through the UAE to Iran in violation of U.S. law,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “Such actions dilute the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran. The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing U.S. sanctions and to successfully countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activity.”
“Since 1979, in order to protect the freedom and security of the American people, the United States has made it illegal to export goods to Iran,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan. “The deeply disturbing allegations in this case are that the defendants conspired to export highly sophisticated American manufacturing equipment and other American-made items into the arms of the Iranians. We will follow every single lead in this case as we pursue justice against the defendants, and we will continue to help American businesses protect themselves from criminal schemes like this.”
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) uses export control statutes to ensure sensitive technologies developed in the United States do not fall into the hands of those that intend to harm Americans or our allies,” said Vance R. Callender, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Michigan and Ohio. “Iran has been subject to international sanctions for more than 40 years and has continuously and furtively tried to obtain items that could be used against U.S. soldiers in conflict or Americans abroad. HSI special agents work in cooperation with private industry partners and the Department of Commerce to ensure our country’s national security profile.”
“This indictment demonstrates the Office of Export Enforcement’s continued commitment to enforcing our nation’s export control laws,” said Special Agent in Charge Dan Clutch of the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) Chicago Field Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to counter Iran’s illicit procurement networks that threaten U.S. national security interests.”
Charged in the indictment are:
- Arash Yousefi Jam, also known as Arash Yousefijam, 32, an Iranian national living in Ontario, Canada. Arash Jam was arrested by U.S. authorities on December 23, 2020;
- Amin Yousefi Jam, also known as Amin Yousefijam, 33, an Iranian national living in Ontario, Canada; and
- Abdollah Momeni Roustani, also known as Abdollah Momeni, Ab Momeni, and Amir Amiri, 44, an Iranian national believed to be living in Iran.
According to the indictment, between January 2015 and February of 2017, Arash Jam, Amin Jam, and Abdollah Momeni allegedly conspired with each other and others to obtain goods in the United States and export them to Iran. Specifically, the defendants are alleged to have conspired to fraudulently and knowingly export and send nine electrical discharge boards, one CPU board, two servo motors, and two railroad crankshafts from the United States to Iran in violation of economic sanctions.
The indictment further alleges that as part of the conspiracy, the defendants and their coconspirators planned and acted outside of the United States — in Iran and Canada, among other places — to purchase goods inside the United States to send to Iran. In addition, the indictment alleges that the defendants used third parties to arrange for payment and transportation of the goods. It is further alleged that the defendants intentionally concealed from companies located in the United States the true nature of the ultimate end use and true identities of the ultimate end users of the goods by providing false and misleading information. Finally, the indictment alleges that the defendants caused the goods to be exported from the United States to individuals and entities located in Iran through the United Arab Emirates, without obtaining the necessary licenses, in violation of U.S. law.
If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the export and smuggling violations, and 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine on the money laundering violation.
This case is being investigated by special agents of HSI and the Commerce Department, Office of Export Enforcement. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon from the Eastern District of Michigan and Trial Attorney Adam Barry from the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent, and the burden is on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.