WASHINGTON – Amin Mahdavi, 53, an Iranian national living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Parthia Cargo LLC, a freight forwarding company located in the UAE, were charged in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with participating in a criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws and sanctions against Iran.
“We will not abide individuals or business organizations that seek to harm our national security by providing coveted U.S. goods to Iran, and we will pursue these wrongdoers no matter where they are located in the world,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.
“Iran evades the U.S. embargo resulting from their malicious activities with the collaboration of those who pose as innocent buyers, but who are ready to send the products on to their forbidden destination,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “These charges against Parthia Cargo LLC and its managing director should put on notice all freight forwarders and others who facilitate illicit transshipments to Iran that their conduct will not be tolerated.”
“Amin Mahdavi defiantly conspired and violated U.S. sanctions to benefit his company and Iran,” said James A. Dawson, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Today’s charges are another example of the dedicated and unrelenting efforts of the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office to pursue those who violate our nation’s sanctions and put our national security at risk. The FBI is charged with protecting our nation’s security and intellectual property from being used to benefit our foreign adversaries.”
“The actions today are a result of the ongoing coordination and collaborative counter-proliferation efforts by the Office of Export Enforcement and the FBI,” said P. Lee Smith, of BIS. “We will continue to vigorously pursue violators with all law enforcement partners to interdict illicit trade that threatens U.S. national security and undermines U.S. foreign policy.”
Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSRs).
The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Mahdavi was the Managing Director of Parthia Cargo LLC, a business organization that facilitated the illegal shipment to Iran of goods manufactured in the United States. Mahdavi acknowledged to U.S. government officials in 2017 that he understood a U.S. government license was necessary to lawfully ship U.S. commercial aircraft parts to Iran. But Mahdavi nonetheless agreed to help ship a U.S.-origin commercial aircraft part to an Iranian air transport company, utilizing the freight forwarding services of Parthia Cargo LLC and without obtaining a license. Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC conspired with individuals and business organizations located outside the United States as part of the criminal scheme, which included falsely stating to a U.S.-based aircraft parts supplier that the goods would not be shipped to Iran unless authorized by the U.S. government.
A concurrent action was taken by the Department of the Treasury, sanctioning Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC, as well as a related UAE business organization, Delta Parts Supply FZC.
If convicted, Mahdavi would face up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, and Parthia Cargo LLC would face a fine of up to $500,000. The criminal charge in the complaint is an allegation, and Mahdavi and Parthia Cargo LLC are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the BIS’s Boston Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Friedman and National Security Division Trial Attorney Jennifer Kennedy Gellie are representing the United States.