United States Obtains Warrant for Seizure of Airplane Owned by Russian Oil Company Valued at Over $25 Million
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Kambiz Attar Kashani, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was sentenced by United States District Judge Eric R. Komitee to 30 months’ imprisonment for 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). The defendant has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. Kashani pleaded guilty to the charge in June 2022.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Joseph R. Bonavolanta, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division (FBI), announced the sentence.
“Kashani defied export restrictions and sanctions against Iran, a country that sponsors international terrorism,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “His scheme undermined U.S. foreign policy and national security interests, and warranted a substantial sentence of incarceration to deter others.”
“Kashani conspired to illegally export U.S. goods and technology for the benefit of the Central Bank of Iran, a designated entity that materially supports known terrorist organizations,” said Assistant Attorney General Olsen. “The Department remains vigilant against any efforts to circumvent our export control laws, which exist to protect the security of the United States and its people.”
“Kambiz Attar Kashani will now head to prison for strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism to line his own pockets, while circumventing U.S. laws in place to protect our national security interests. He used two United Arab Emirates companies to procure items from multiple American technology companies, including one located right here in Massachusetts,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Bonavolonta. “Today’s sentencing should send a strong message that the FBI and its law enforcement partners will continue to pursue and hold accountable those individuals who illegally export our country’s sensitive information and technology to hostile nations such as the Government of Iran.”
Between February 2019 and June 2021, Kashani conspired to illegally export goods and technology to end users in Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The U.S. government recognizes CBI as an agency of the Government of Iran and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has classified it as a Specially Designated National (SDN) 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), which 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 and his co-conspirators perpetrated the illegal transshipping scheme through two separate United Arab Emirates (UAE) companies. They used the UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple U.S. technology companies, including one located in Brooklyn, for end users in Iran, including CBI, without obtaining required OFAC export licenses. Certain of the goods and technology Kashani and his co-conspirators transshipped were classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security as information security items subject to national security and anti-terrorism controls. 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 companies would be the ultimate end users.
As set forth in court papers, by providing the Government of Iran and end users in Iran with sophisticated, top-tier U.S. electronic equipment and software, the defendant and his co-conspirators enabled the Iranian banking system to operate more efficiently, effectively, and securely. In doing so, the defendant and his co-conspirators likely helped strengthen Iran’s economy and provided faster and more secure access to funds that enable the Government of Iran to further priorities including its nuclear program and terrorist agenda – exactly what the U.S. sanctions against Iran were intended to prevent.
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.
Kambiz Attar Kashani
United Arab Emirates
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-33 (EK)
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office