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Press Release

Three Men, Including San Diego Father And Son, Indicted In Multi-million Dollar Conspiracy To Evade U.S. Sanctions On Iran

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Hassan Rafiee and his son, Idin Rafiee, were arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major in federal court in San Diego on an indictment charging them and a third man, Majid Nouri, with conspiracy to evade U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA"), and a series of Presidential Executive Orders, the United States has imposed economic sanctions against Iran. With limited exceptions, the sanctions generally prohibit U.S. persons from exporting, selling, and supplying goods, technology or services to Iran, or even facilitating such transactions.

According to the indictment, the Rafiees and Majid Nouri are U.S. citizens originally from Iran. The indictment alleges that the Rafiees – with Nouri’s assistance – operated two companies, Pasha International aka Surnyx, based in San Diego, and Pasha Tak, based in Iran. The defendants used these companies to carry out a multi-year conspiracy to evade the trade sanctions against Iran. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendants unlawfully procured more than $8 million in goods – primarily cooling equipment – for customers in Iran, without obtaining any approval from the United States Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In January 2014, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents arrested Hassan and Idin Rafiee in San Diego and arrested Majid Nouri in Katy, Texas. The Rafiees have each been released on a $100,000 bond secured by property, home detention and GPS monitoring, and are scheduled to make their next appearance on March 7, 2014 before the Hon. Janis L. Sammartino for a motion hearing. Nouri is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in San Diego on February 11, 2014.

DEFENDANT   Case Number: 14CR0240-JLS

Hassan Rafiee
Majid Nouri
Idin Rafiee

San Diego, California
Katy, Texas
San Diego, California
Age 58
Age 41
Age 24

Title 50, U.S.C., Sections 1702 and 1705, and Title 31, C.F.R., Part 560 – Conspiracy to Export to Embargoed Country
Maximum penalties: 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.


Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 23, 2015