U.S. Citizen Charged with Conspiring to Provide Electronic Equipment and Technology to the Government of Iran
Defendant Allegedly Conspired to Illegally Export U.S. Goods and Technology Without Required Export Licenses
A criminal complaint has been unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging Kambiz Attar Kashani, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, with conspiring to illegally export U.S. goods, technology, and services to end users in Iran, including the Government of Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Kashani was arrested yesterday in Chicago, Illinois, and had an initial appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan at the federal courthouse in Chicago. The defendant was remanded pending a detention hearing.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Joseph R. Bonavolanta, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest.
“As alleged, Kashani orchestrated an elaborate scheme to evade U.S. export laws and use the U.S. financial system in procuring U.S. electronic equipment and technology for the Central Bank of Iran, which has been designated by the United States government as acting for or on behalf of terrorist organizations. The defendant allegedly used two United Arab Emirates companies as fronts to procure items from multiple U.S. technology companies, including a company in Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Kashani’s arrest underscores the unrelenting resolve of this Office and the Department of Justice to prosecute those who seek to profit by compromising our national security.”
“We arrested Kambiz Attar Kashani for conspiring to deceive U.S. companies, including one headquartered in Massachusetts, by illegally exporting their highly sophisticated electronic equipment and technology to the Government of Iran. We believe Mr. Kashani profited financially by strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism, while circumventing critical U.S. laws designed to protect our national security interests,” stated FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Bonavolonta. “This case is another example of the FBI’s commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to protect American businesses and stop the illegal export of sensitive information and technology to nations that are hostile to the United States.”
As set forth in the complaint, Kashani conspired to illegally export goods and technology to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), which the United States government recognizes is an agency of the Government of Iran. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has classified CBI as a Specially Designated National (SDN) signifying that CBI is acting for or on behalf of a terrorist organization. According to the U.S. government, CBI has materially assisted, sponsored and provided financial, material or technological support, goods or services to Lebanese Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and to the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is a branch of the Iranian armed forces and represents the primary means of the Government of Iran to direct and implement its global terrorism campaign.
Kashani allegedly perpetrated the illegal transshipping scheme through two separate United Arab Emirates (UAE) front companies for which he acts as principal. From around February 2019 through June 2021, Kashani and his co-conspirators used the two UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple U.S. technology companies, including a company located in Brooklyn, New York, for end users in Iran, including CBI, without obtaining required OFAC export licenses. Kashani and his co-conspirators intentionally concealed from the U.S. companies that they intended to send the items to Iran, falsely claiming that the UAE front companies would be the ultimate end users.
The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Meredith A. Arfa are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney S. Derek Shugert of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Assistant United States Attorney Shawn McCarthy of the Northern District of Illinois.
KAMBIZ ATTAR KASHANI
United Arab Emirates
E.D.N.Y. Docket No.: 21-MJ-31