Miami-Dade County Residents Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Illegally Export Prohibited Articles to Syria in Violation of U.S. Export Control Laws
Three Miami-Dade County residents pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to illegally export aviation parts and equipment to Syria, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The exports were sent to Syrian Arab Airlines, a/k/a “Syrian Air” (Syrian Air). Syrian Air was designated as a Specially Designated National (SDN) by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from doing business with SDNs, such as Syrian Air, without obtaining a license from OFAC.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Robert Luzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement (DOC), Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, made the announcement.
Ali Caby, a/k/a “Alex Caby,” 40, Arash Caby, a/k/a “Axel Caby,” 43, and Marjan Caby, 34, were charged with conspiracy to violate the IEEPA by exporting dual-use goods, that is, articles that have both civilian and military application, without a license to Syrian Air, the Syrian government’s airline, which is an entity designated and blocked by OFAC for transporting weapons and ammunition to Syria in conjunction with Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
According to court documents, Ali Caby ran the Bulgaria office of AW-Tronics, a Miami export company that was managed by Arash Caby, and which shipped and exported various aircraft parts and equipment to Syria via Syrian Air. Ali Caby and Arash Caby closely supervised and encouraged subordinate employees of AW-Tronics in the willful exportation of the parts and equipment to Syrian Air, whose activities assisted the Syrian government’s violent crackdown on its people. Marjan Caby, as AW-Tronics’ export compliance officer and auditor, facilitated these exports by submitting false and misleading electronic export information to federal agencies.
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom on December 19, 2017. They face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Boente commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, DOC, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ricardo Del Toro and Michael Thakur and Trial Attorney Matthew Walczewski of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.