(Washington, D.C.) - Acting Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce for Export Enforcement Lisa Prager announced that criminal and civil sanctions were imposed on Refinery Industries Incorporated of Budd Lake, New Jersey, for attempted illegal exports of gas detection equipment to Iran.
The company received five-years probation from Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the United States District Court in Newark, New Jersey. As part of the plea agreement in the criminal case, the company agreed to forfeit the seized 195 units of methane gas detectors to the U.S. government. The Department of Commerce imposed a $22,000 civil penalty against Refinery Industries, Inc. and denied the export privileges of the company and its president, Mahmood Reza Hashemi, for a period of 10 years.
The Department of Commerce proved that between May 1998 and August 1998, Refinery Industries, Inc. attempted to export illegally gas detection equipment to Iran. The Department of Commerce controls the export of this commodity from the United States to Iran for foreign policy reasons.
The Commerce Department's New York office of Export Enforcement investigated the case.
The Department of Commerce, through its Bureau of Export Administration, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation and short supply. Criminal penalties, as well as administrative sanctions, can be imposed for violations of the Regulations.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.