For Immediate Release: January 11, 2006
Contact - BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney Northern District of Oklahoma
110 West Seventh Street, Suite 300
Tulsa , Oklahoma 74103-3880
Tulsa Company Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate Iranian Export Embargo
United States Attorney David E. O’Meilia, United States Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement Assistant Secretary Darryl W. Jackson and Special Agent in Charge George Richardson, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge John Chakwin, Jr., and Resident Agent in Charge Michael Arnold announced that GasTech Engineering Corp. pleaded guilty today before the Honorable H. Dale Cook, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, to Conspiracy to Violate the Iranian Transactions Regulations that prohibit the exportation of goods and services to Iran. Defendant GasTech Engineering admitted that it conspired with its President Parviz Khosrowyar, and other unindicted Co-Conspirators, to provide engineering and procurement services to the Government of Iran's National Iranian Gas Company for the design of the Tabnak Gas Treating Plant in Iran .
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) is the federal statute that implements Presidential embargoes against doing business with Iran , as well as other countries considered to be sponsors of international terrorism. Since the Islamic revolution and overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, IEEPA and Presidential embargoes have forbidden United States persons and companies from doing business with Iran and the Government of Iran. Iran is under a comprehensive United States embargo and has been designated by the Secretary of State to be a supporter of international terrorism. "The Iranian embargo is an important foreign policy tool used to discourage that country from continuing its support of international terrorism," said United States Attorney O'Meilia and Assistant Secretary Jackson. "Being able to enforce laws such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act puts critical teeth in our foreign policy," said SAC Chakwin.
Defendant GasTech Engineering Corp., located in Tulsa , Oklahoma , was incorporated in 1985. GasTech Engineering Corp. was and is engaged in the design and fabrication of oil and gas processing plants and systems. GasTech Engineering Corp. exports worldwide to numerous destinations including the Middle East , Southeast Asia , North and West Africa , the North Sea and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Pursuant to the Plea Agreement, as a special condition of the term of probation to be imposed by the Court, Defendant GasTech Engineering agreed to a corporate compliance program to be monitored by the Department of Commerce. A further condition of probation mandates that Defendant GasTech not violate any of the laws of the United States , including the export laws. GasTech agreed to a forfeiture money judgment representing proceeds traceable to its role in the conspiracy and payment of a regulatory penalty, in addition to any fine imposed by the Court at sentencing.
Co-Defendant Parviz Khosrowyar, President and Chief Executive Officer of GasTech Engineering Corp., remains a fugitive on all counts of the Second Superseding Indictment, including the conspiracy charge and the charge for his failure to appear at trial. United States Attorney O'Meilia said that, "federal law enforcement continues to pursue every avenue to see that Co-Defendant Parviz Khosrowyar is apprehended and brought to justice." United States Attorney O'Meilia further stated that, "the source of IEEPA controls is an executive order declaring a national emergency based on an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States ."
The complex investigation that led to the plea of guilty by GasTech was a joint effort of federal law enforcement and prosecuting agencies, including the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Commerce Department Office of Export Enforcement, United States Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Counter-Terrorism Section of the United States Department of Justice. United States Attorney O'Meilia stated that, "this case is an excellent example of the quality of prosecution that results from numerous agencies working together to enforce embargoes that prohibit United States companies and individuals from conducting business with specifically designated terrorist countries. Today's case demonstrates our commitment to enforce the embargo on Iran and other sanctioned countries. United States companies that knowingly trade with embargoed countries will face serious consequences," said United States Attorney O'Meilia.
In announcing today's guilty plea, U.S. Attorney O'Meilia, Assistant Secretary Jackson, SAC Richardson, SAC Chakwin, Jr. and RAC Arnold commended the outstanding efforts of Commerce Special Agent Troy Shaffer and ICE Special Agent Paul Masteller. They also recognized the exceptional efforts of Assistant United States Attorney Catherine J. Depew who is prosecuting this case.