Raleigh County Man Pleads Guilty to Export Fraud Violation
BECKLEY, W.Va. – Rana Zeeshan Tanveer, 42, of Beckley, pleaded guilty today to committing an export fraud violation. Tanveer admitted that he knowingly submitted false export valuations for two high-technology devices that Tanveer shipped to Pakistan.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 31, 2017, Tanveer ordered the two high-technology items, paying more than $4,000 for both items. The two items were shipped to Tanveer in Beckley and he received them on June 7, 2017. Tanveer admitted to creating a false invoice that intentionally understated the value of the items as less than $200. Tanveer further admitted to using the false invoice to ship the items to Pakistan using a freight forwarding service in July 2017.
Tanveer also admitted that he intentionally used false invoices on at least six other occasions, from June 14, 2014 through August 20, 2018, that deliberately undervalued the purchase cost of U.S.-origin technology that Tanveer exported to Pakistan.
“Mr. Tanveer pleaded guilty to unlawfully shipping high-technology devices overseas and is now being held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to prosecute those who would undermine our nation’s security and economic interest by flouting U.S. export control laws.”
Federal law requires the filing of accurate Electronic Export Information (EEI) through the Automated Export System (AES) about certain items that are exported from the United States. It is a federal crime to knowingly submit false or misleading Electronic Export Information. The purpose of this export requirement is to strengthen the ability of the United States to prevent the export of certain items to unauthorized destinations or end users. Accurate information in the Automated Export System also aids the United States in targeting, identifying, and, when necessary, confiscating suspicious or illegal items or shipments prior to export.
“Violating export control requirements is a serious offense,” said United State Attorney Will Thompson. “Our office is committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who evade U.S. export laws.”
Tanveer is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the United States Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“Knowingly undervaluing shipments in order to avoid export reporting requirements is a violation of U.S. export control rules,” said OEE Washington Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott Anderson. “The Office of Export Enforcement will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent and disrupt illicit trade that threatens U.S. national security and undermines U.S. foreign policy.”
“Mr. Tanveer used deceptive practices and tried to disguise his true activities for years,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI will always work to disrupt these types of actions, as they pose a threat not only to our national security, but also to the U.S. economy. I commend the work done by everyone at the FBI, but we would not have been successful without our strong partnership with the Department of Commerce. Together, our agencies will continue to fight export fraud.”
United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes and National Security Division Trial Attorney R. Elizabeth Abraham are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-cr-26.