August 09, 2019

Iranian Woman Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Export Goods to Sanctioned Company

By Samuel Rubenfeld

Negar Ghodskani, an Iranian woman, pleaded guilty Friday in a Minnesota federal court to charges related to her role in a scheme to export controlled technology to a company sanctioned for its support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Ghodskani was a Tehran-based employee of Fanavar Moj Khavar (Fana Moj) from 2008 to 2011, prosecutors said, citing her guilty plea. In 2009, she and others established Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Green Wave Telecommunication Sdn Bhn, which operated as a front for Fana Moj, prosecutors said. Ghodskani falsely represented herself as an employee of Green Wave to U.S. companies to acquire export-controlled technology, prosecutors said.

Robert Richman, an attorney for Ghodskani, was quoted in media reports as saying she took the plea deal “because she wanted to accept responsibility and be sentenced.” The two sides have not reached a deal on a recommended sentence, according to the plea agreement filed with the U.S. federal court.

As part of the conspiracy, Ghodskani contacted producers and distributors of the sought-after technology, solicited purchase agreements and negotiated the purchase and delivery of the goods with the U.S. seller, according to prosecutors. She and others concealed the destination and end users of the exported technology to acquire the materials, prosecutors said.

Fana Moj manufactures broadcast equipment and provides “the most advanced broadband satellite and terrestrial broadband,” according to an archived version of its website. Ghodskani had sought to acquire technology, typically microelectronics, on behalf of Fana Moj, according to court records. The sought-after products had a variety of uses, court records show.

The goods were repackaged when received in Malaysia by Green Wave, and then exported from Malaysia to Fana Moj in Tehran, Iran, according to court records. Alireza Jalali, an Iranian man who was a part time employee of Green Wave, handled the repackaging, prosecutors said. 

Jalali pleaded guilty in November 2017 to charges related to the case and was sentenced in March 2018 to 15 months in prison. He’s no longer in U.S. custody, according to prison records.

Kharon research

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