On January 12, 2021, the United States Department of Justice announced that it charged three individuals, including two residents of Ontario, Canada in an indictment with conspiracy to export U.S. goods to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). In addition to the foregoing, the roster of charges includes conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States, and conspiracy to engage in international money laundering spanning 11 countries and stretching over two years.
The indictment and arrests of those individuals in Canada demonstrate the strength of sanctions law and its extra-territorial nature. Charged in the indictment are:
Quoting the indictment, the announcement by the Justice Department states that “between January 2015 and February of 2017, Arash Jam, Amin Jam, and Abdollah Momeni allegedly conspired with each other and others to obtain goods in the United States and export them to Iran. Specifically, the individuals are alleged to have conspired to fraudulently and knowingly export and send nine electrical discharge boards, one CPU board, two servo motors, and two railroad crankshafts from the United States to Iran in violation of economic sanctions.
According to a news source, “the shipment made it to port in Iran. Payments for the supplies were wired through different countries, including Turkey and Uganda.”
These allegations have not been proven in a criminal trial. However, if convicted, the individuals face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the export and smuggling violations, and 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine on the money laundering violation.
The lawyers at Tereposky & DeRose have significant experience in the design and implementation of sanctions-related compliance programs, including policies, procedures, employee training, and internal control mechanisms. They also regularly assist both Canadian and international businesses, financial institutions, and individuals with internal investigations when “red flags” appear and provide advice on compliance in these areas. Where breaches have occurred, they have worked closely with their clients in making voluntary disclosures and in engaging with the ensuing investigations conducted by the RCMP and Global Affairs Canada.