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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
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Feds Say Texans Exported Computers to Iran

DALLAS (CN) - Two Texas businessmen illegally exported $12 million worth of computers to Iran, federal prosecutors say.

Borna "Brad" Faizy, 42, of Frisco, and Touraj Ghavidel aka Brent Dell, 44, of Plano, claimed they were selling the computers to purchasers in Dubai, the United States says in a 12-count indictment that was unsealed last week.

They are charged with conspiring to illegally export to Iran, nine counts of illegal export and attempted export of goods to Iran, and making false statements to a federal agency.

Both men were arrested Thursday, pleaded not guilty and were released on bond.

Prosecutors say they own and operate Signal Microsystems in Addison and that from 2005 to 2012, conspired with others to sell the computers in violation of federal trade restrictions.

Both men lied to the FBI, the Department of Commerce and Homeland Security Investigations, claiming Signal Microsystems did not do any business with customers in Iran, the 26-page indictment states.

But they made at least 10 shipments to Iran, from December 2009 to March 2011, according to the indictment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement that the men "evaded regulations, prohibitions and licensing requirements of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), which prohibit, among other things, the export, re-export, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States to Iran, without prior authorization from the Secretary of the Treasury."

"These regulations further prohibit the unauthorized exportation of goods from the United States to a third country if the goods are intended or destined for Iran."

Prosecutors said the men bought the computers from domestic companies, then recruited Iranian customers, among other places, at a trade show in Dubai.

"The defendants allegedly used freight-forwarding companies in Dubai to ship the equipment to Iran and communicated with co-conspirators using fictitious names and coded language to obscure the true identities and locations of the ultimate consignees and end-users," prosecutors said in the statement. "They also created invoices and export forms that falsely identified the ultimate consignees of the shipments as parties in Dubai."

If convicted, they face up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy and illegal export, up to 5 years for making false statements, and up to $250,000 in fines.

Prosecutors also seek forfeiture of at least 250 laptop computers and disgorgement of the money they made.

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