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Irish Firm Charged With Trading Helo Engines to Iran

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

Irish aircraft parts broker Mac Aviation Group and its three chief officers, owner Thomas McGuinn, son Sean McGuinn and Sean Byrne, 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 ultimate destination and end use.

Recipients of the parts included Iranian military group HESA, known by the U.S. for its involvement in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program, according to the indictment.

From August 2005 to July 2008, millions of dollars in parts were exported from the United States to Malaysia and Dubai before being routed to Iran, the government claims.

The 25-count indictment, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia last July and unsealed on Tuesday, charges the defendants with making false statements, conspiring, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian transaction regulations.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison for each of the IEEPA counts, five to 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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