Feds: Men from Pa., Md. traded with Iran 11/17/2008, 4:13 p.m. EST The Associated Press...PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two immigrants used a Pennsylvania company to sell fuel-cell technology, centrifuges, computer equipment, car parts and other materials to Iran, federal prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed Monday 11/17/2008.
Mohammad Reza Vaghari, 41, of Broomall, and Mir Hossein Ghaemi, 42, of Edgewood, Md., are accused of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. There were no charges related to terrorism, said Patricia Hartman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia.
The men, who are originally from Iran, were arrested at their homes on Monday, Hartman said. Vaghari's passport was seized and he was released from federal custody; Ghaemi remained in custody Monday pending surrender of his passport.
Conducting business under the name Saamen Company LLC, the two men conspired to export goods that included electrical, laboratory, medical and computing equipment; ultrasonic liquid processors; fuel cell technology; automobile parts; and centrifuges, the grand jury indictment said.
Between 2002 and the present, the two shipped the goods to unknown conspirators in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), knowing that they were eventually destined for Iran, authorities said. Vaghari also allegedly made false statements in connection with his attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship around November 2004; since 1998, authorities said, he has had a permanent resident card that was procured fraudulently.
Ghaemi became a lawful permanent U.S. resident in September 2001. Telephone listings for both men could not be located; it was not immediately clear if either had an attorney.
Nov. 11th 2009...UPDATE ON THE ARREST OF Mohammad Reza Vaghari a/k/a “Mitch Vaghari”, of Broomall, PA why did he need a centrifuge that weighed approximately 1,000 pounds delivered to his below ground apartment.
Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release November 17, 2008 United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Contact: Patricia Hartman, (215) 861-8525
Two Charged with Illegal Trading with Iran
PHILADELPHIA – Laurie Magid, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Mohammad Reza Vaghari, 41, of Broomall, PA, and Mir Hossein Ghaemi, 42, of Edgewood, MD, with crimes relating to their participation in illegal business transactions with Iran between in or about 2002 and present.
Both defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and Vaghari is charged with three additional substantive counts of violating IEEPA. Finally, Vaghari is also charged with attempting to procure U.S. citizenship by fraud and possessing immigration documents that were procured by fraud.
According to the indictment, the defendants operated in this country through a Pennsylvania corporation called Saamen Company. The American-based conspirators would purchase items from American companies, export the items to the United Arab Emirates, and co-conspirators in the U.A.E. would then deliver the items to customers in Iran. The indictment further alleges that Vaghari made false statements in connection with his attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship in or about November 2004, and that, since 1998, he has possessed a permanent resident card that had been procured by fraud.
If convicted of all charges, Vaghari faces a maximum sentence of 85 years imprisonment, a $3,750,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $600 in special assessments; Ghaemi faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Commerce. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Miller.