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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide False Statements Related To Export Of Prohibited Goods To Iran

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a New Jersey man pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide false statements related to illegally exporting goods to Iran before United States Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito in Wilkes-Barre.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Asim Fareed, age 51, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide false statements in connection to the illegal export of goods to Iran.  According to the Information to which he pleaded guilty, 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 included 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 guilty plea is pursuant to a plea agreement with the government.  

"The Office of Export Enforcement protects our national security and foreign policy interests by vigorously pursuing violators of our nation's export control laws.  Today's guilty plea is an example of our close work with our colleagues at HSI and other law enforcement agencies to complement our robust enforcement program. Providing or causing false statements on export documents and illicit trade with Iran will remain a high priority for the Office of Export Enforcement," 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.”  

No sentencing date has been scheduled.

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.

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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Updated June 14, 2016