West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Export Fraud Violation
Rana Zeeshan Tanveer, 42, of Beckley, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today to the federal felony offense of committing an export fraud violation.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Tanveer admitted in the plea agreement to knowingly submitting false export valuations for certain items that Tanveer shipped to Pakistan. Specifically, in June 2017, Tanveer purchased two high technology items, paying more than $4,000 for both items. Prior to shipping, Tanveer created and used a false invoice that intentionally understated the value of the items as less than $200. After undervaluing the items on the invoice, Tanveer then shipped the items to Pakistan using a freight forwarding service. From 2014 to 2018, Tanveer intentionally used false invoices that deliberately undervalued the purchase cost of other U.S. origin technology items that Tanveer exported to Pakistan.
“Mr. Tanveer pleaded guilty to unlawfully shipping high-technology devices overseas and is now being held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to prosecute those who would undermine our nation’s security and economic interest by flouting U.S. export control laws.”
“Violating export control requirements is a serious offense,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson for the Southern District of West Virginia. “Our office is committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who evade U.S. export laws.”
“Knowingly undervaluing shipments in order to avoid export reporting requirements is a violation of U.S. export control rules,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott Anderson of the Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement Washington Field Office. “The Office of Export Enforcement will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent and disrupt illicit trade that threatens U.S. national security and undermines U.S. foreign policy.”
Federal law requires the filing of accurate electronic export information through the automated export system about certain items that are exported from the United States. It is a federal crime to knowingly submit false or misleading electronic export information. The purpose of this export requirement is to strengthen the ability of the United States to prevent the export of certain items to unauthorized destinations or end users. Accurate information in the automated export system also aids the United States in targeting, identifying, and, when necessary, confiscating suspicious or illegal items or shipments prior to export.
Tanveer is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 4 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement and the FBI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Goes for the Southern District of West Virginia and Trial Attorney R. Elizabeth Abraham of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.