Tampa Man Sentenced for Exporting Millions of Dollars Worth of Computer Equipment to Iran

U.S. Department of Justice For Immediate Release: October 18, 2012
United States Attorney's Office Contact -- BIS Public Affairs: 202-482-2721

TAMPA MAN SENTENCED FOR EXPORTING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

WORTH OF COMPUTER EQUIPMENT TO IRAN

Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington sentenced Mohammad Reza "Ray" Hajian (57, Tampa) today to 4 years in federal prison for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transaction Regulations.  The court also ordered Hajian to serve a one-year term of supervised release, upon his release from prison, and to forfeit $10 million, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense. 

Hajian pleaded guilty on July 11, 2012.  Three of his companies, RH International LLC, Nexiant LLC, and P & P Computers LLC, also pleaded guilty on the same date.

According to court documents, between 2003 and the fall of 2011, Hajian conspired with others to unlawfully export sophisticated, enterprise level computer and related equipment from the United States to Iran, in violation of the U.S. embargo.  In an effort to conceal their activities, Hajian and his co-conspirators caused the shipments of computers and related equipment, as well as the payments for the same, to travel to and from the United States and Iran through the United Arab Emirates.  Hajian and his co-conspirators communicated with each other via e-mail. They employed fake identities, fake end-users, and coded language in order to mask the true nature of their activities.  Hajian shipped approximately $14.85 million worth of computer and related equipment during the conspiracy.

“The magnitude and scope of the threats facing the United States has never been greater than today, and that’s why Homeland Security Investigations investigates individuals who try to export sensitive technologies to hostile nations,” said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa. “Homeland Security Investigations takes pride in protecting our country, and today’s sentencing is the latest example of our effective investigative efforts.”

"Today's sentencing demonstrates the ongoing cooperation with our federal law enforcement partners  to prevent  U.S. technology from falling into the wrong hands.  In this case, a key Iranian procurement network which could have been damaging to U.S. national security was shut down," said Robert Luzzi, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security's Office of Export Enforcement Miami Field Office. "Parties who conspire to export to embargoed destinations such as Iran will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement.  It was prosecuted by U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Mariclaire Rourke and Assistant United States Attorney Rachelle DesVaux Bedke.