Home Virginia man to serve 41 months for business dealings in Iran, forfeit $2.8M and home
Public Safety, Virginia

Virginia man to serve 41 months for business dealings in Iran, forfeit $2.8M and home

Crystal Graham
gavel and handcuffs
(© spediter – stock.adobe.com)

A McLean man was sentenced Tuesday to 41 months in prison for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Behrouz Mokhtari, 72, allegedly conspired to engage in prohibited business activities on behalf of persons and entities in Iran.

Mokhtari will also have three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Mokhtari was ordered to forfeit approximately $2.8 million in proceeds derived from his criminal activity as well as a residence he purchased in Campbell, Calif., for more than $1.5 million.

Mokhtari pleaded guilty earlier this year in the District of Maryland to two counts of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economics Power ACT.

According to court documents, Mokhtari engaged in a conspiracy lasting from at least March 2018 until at least September 2020 in which he conducted numerous business activities on behalf of Iranian entities without first obtaining the required licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In a separate conspiracy lasting from about February 2013 until at least June 2017, Mokhtari and a number of Iranian nationals agreed to conduct illicit shipments of petrochemical products to and from Iran­, utilizing his front company, East & West Shipping Inc., in Panama to do so.

Mokhtari held management positions and/or maintained ownership control of numerous businesses in Iran and the United Arab Emirates, collectively referred to as the FSR Network. Using the FSR Network, he and his co-conspirators illegally provided services to Iranian entities such as the refinement and transport of petrochemical products.

Mokhtari and his co-conspirators used FSR Network bank accounts in the UAE, including Bitubiz FZE, to process these U.S. dollar transactions.

Mokhtari admitted that he knew that, as a U.S. citizen, engaging in business with Iranian entities without first obtaining a license or permission from OFAC is prohibited. He further knew that it was illegal to engage in transactions intended to evade Iranian sanctions, or to engage in transactions related to goods and services of Iranian origin or export.

The FBI investigated the case.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.