SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a plea agreement and a felony Criminal Information charging a New Jersey man with conspiring to provide false statements related to illegally exporting goods to Iran have been filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Asim Fareed, age 51, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, has agreed to enter a guilty plea to conspiracy to provide false statements in connection to the illegal export of goods to Iran. According to the Information, Fareed operated an export business in Somerset, New Jersey and agreed to ship items purchased by customers in Iran and to provide false documentation to the U.S. Department of Commerce for export purposes. Communications concerning the shipments passed between New Jersey and a site in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. No actual shipments were, in fact, delivered to Iran.
The Information charges that in 2013 and 2014 Fareed conspired with others to export items from the United States, through third party countries to customers in Iran. According to the Information, Fareed prepared invoices which listed false information as to the identity and geographic location of the purchasers of the goods. The items were then to be shipped from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, and thereafter transshipped to Iran. The plea agreement is subject to the approval of the court.
"The Office of Export Enforcement vigorously pursues violators of our nation's export control laws, which are in place to further and protect our national security and foreign policy. As in this instance, we work closely with our colleagues at HSI and other law enforcement agencies in prosecuting this case," said Jonathan Carson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, New York Field Office.
“This case demonstrates how far individuals will go to circumvent U.S. export laws to export goods to countries like the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI in New York. “The Iran Trade Embargo prohibits Americans from supplying goods, technology and services to Iran directly or indirectly. HSI is committed to aggressively pursuing those who conduct illegal business with Iran.”
The case was investigated by the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley is prosecuting the case.
Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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