Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Three Miami Residents Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Illegally Export Prohibited Articles to Syria in Violation of U.S. Export Control Laws

Three Miami-Dade County, Florida residents, Ali Caby, aka “Alex Caby,” 40, Arash Caby, aka “Axel Caby,” 43, and Marjan Caby, 34, pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to Count 1 of an Indictment charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to illegally export aviation parts and equipment to Syria in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).  The exports were sent to Syrian Arab Airlines, aka “Syrian Air,” which had been designated as a Specially Designated National (SDN) by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from doing business with SDNs, such as Syrian Air, without obtaining a license from OFAC.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana J. Boente for National Security, Acting United States Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Robert Luzzi of the Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement (DOC) Miami Field Office and members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) made the announcement. 

The defendants were indicted for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to violate the IEEPA by exporting dual-use goods, that is, articles that have both civilian and military application. The dual-use goods were exported without a license to Syrian Air, the Syrian government’s airline, which is an entity designated and blocked by OFAC for transporting weapons and ammunition to Syria in conjunction with Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

According to court documents, Ali Caby ran the Bulgaria office of AW-Tronics, a Miami export company that was managed by Arash Caby, and which shipped and exported various aircraft parts and equipment to Syrian AirAli Caby and Arash Caby closely supervised and encouraged subordinate employees of AW-Tronics in the willful exportation of the parts and equipment to SDN Syrian Air, whose activities have assisted the Syrian government’s violent crackdown on its people.  Marjan Caby, as AW-Tronics’ export compliance officer and auditor, facilitated these exports by submitting false and misleading electronic export information to federal agencies. 

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom on Dec. 19.  They face a statutory maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 

Mr. Boente and Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, DOC, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the South Florida JTTF.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ricardo Del Toro and Michael Thakur of the Southern District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Matthew Walczewski of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division.

Topic(s): 
Counterintelligence and Export Control
Press Release Number: 
17-1101
Updated October 4, 2017