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Counterespionage Group of Justice Charges Irish Firm With Trading Helo Engines to Iran

(CN) - An Irish trading company and three of its officers were charged on Tuesday with exporting U.S. helicopter engines to the Iranian military group tied to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The disguised shipments were made through Malaysia and United Arab Emirates, said the U.S. Attorney General's office.

Irish aircraft parts broker Mac Aviation Group and its three chief officers, Thomas McGuinn, 72, owner, director, and principle officer; his son Sean Mc Guinn, sales/procurement director; and Sean Byrne, commercial manager, allegedly solicited purchase orders from customers in Iran for U.S. aircraft parts and then sent the orders to U.S. companies such as Rolls-Royce, concealing the from the sellers the ultimate end-use and end-users of the parts.

According to the indictment, among the alleged recipients of the parts was the Iranian military group HESA, known by the U.S. for its involvement in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The parts were exported from the U.S. and sent to Malaysia and Dubai before being routed to Iran. Millions of dollars worth of parts were allegedly purchased and exported from the U.S. to Iran from August of 2005 through July of 2008.

The twenty five count indictment, filed in the District of Columbia last July and unsealed on Tuesday, charges the defendants with violating an economic powers act and Iranian transaction regulations, as well as making false statements and forfeiture. If convicted the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10-20 years in prison for each of the regulation violations, 5-20 years in prison for each of the conspiracy counts, and five years in prison for each of the false statement counts.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Denise Cheung and Ann Petalas of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorneys Jonathan Poling and Ryan Fayhee of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

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