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Press Release

Canadian woman sentenced to prison for illegally exporting American industrial pipeline & oil refinement equipmet from United States to Iran

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Angelica O. Preti, 45, of Ontario, Canada, was sentenced in U.S. District Court here today to 18 months in prison for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by illegally exporting gas turbine engine parts from the United States to Iran.

According to court documents, Preti worked as the export operations manager at a Canadian forwarding and customs brokerage service provider that had significant business in the United States, including in the Southern District of Ohio.

Preti helped facilitate the shipment of U.S.-origin gas turbine engine parts and valve assemblies and connectors used for industrial pipelines in the gas and petrochemical (oil refinement) industry to Iran in deliberate violation of a U.S. embargo and trade sanctions. Iran has been subject to United States embargo sanctions since 1979.

“Preti made a calculated decision to harm the United States by supplying enemies abroad,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said. “Preti also attempted to cover up her crimes by directing the filing of false electronic export information, and attesting that the final destination of goods was not Iran. Preti also employed a number of additional methods to obscure the fact that Iran was the end-user for the shipments.”

“The U.S. is engaged in a maximum-pressure campaign to curb Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East, and we will not tolerate illegal exports to Iran that seek to undermine that effort” said Commerce Department Special Agent in Charge Nasir Khan.  “We will work with our law enforcement partners and the Department of Justice to vigorously investigate and pursue prosecution of violators.”

In addition to the charged conduct, during her time as export operations manager at UE Canada Inc., the company was involved with 47 shipments exported from the United States. Of these shipments, 23 were ultimately traced as destined to Iran. 

Preti is the second person charged as a result of the investigation into illegal shipment of industrial equipment of Iran. Behrooz Behroozian, who owned and operated Comtech International in Dublin, Ohio, was sentenced in October 2019 to serve 20 months in prison for his crimes.

David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division; and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the sentence imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James L Graham. Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas W. Squires and S. Courter Shimeall, as well as Senior Trial Attorney William Mackie with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are representing the United States in this case.

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Updated June 27, 2020

National Security