Virginia Businessman Sentenced to 41-Months in Prison in Iranian Petrochemical Scheme
A Virginia businessman has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran by conspiring to engage in prohibited business activities on behalf of Iranian entities without obtaining the required licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Behrouz Mokhtari and co-conspirators controlled businesses in Iran and the UAE to provide services to Iranian entities and engage in transactions involving Iranian petrochemical products, using a UAE bank account to process them in US dollars.
According to his plea agreement, Mokhtari created a front company in Panama known as East & West Shipping, Inc. to purchase two liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tankers, for approximately $38 million, which were then used to transport Iranian petrochemical products for Iranian entities associated with the Government of Iran.
After using East & West to purchase the two vessels, Mokhtari transferred ownership to conceal the vessels’ financial and ownership interest. Another entity, Greenline Shipholding, was then used to control operations of the vessels.
Mokhtari was also ordered to forfeit $2,862,598 in criminal proceeds and a $1.5 million residence in Campbell, California, which he purchased with those proceeds.
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