The owner of a Los Angeles-based international food distribution company pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of operating an unlicensed money transmittal business through which more than $17 million was transferred between Iran and the United States.

Ali Amin, a 57-year-old Bel-Air resident, also pleaded guilty to tax fraud and failing to disclose to the Internal Revenue Service bank accounts in Switzerland, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Amin owns Primex International Trading Company, a producer and distributor of dried fruit and nut products to domestic and international markets based near Los Angeles International Airport.

Since 2007, Amin also has owned a 50 percent interest in Amin Padidar Limited, a processor and distributor of pistachios located in Tehran, Iran, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, from 2007 through 2011, Amin used bank accounts in Tehran, Switzerland and the U.S, to transfer money from people in Iran to individuals designated to receive the money in this country.

Amin also admitted that he failed to disclose to the IRS an account at HypoSwiss Private Bank in Switzerland that he controlled, and acknowledged failing to disclose about $3.4 million in income to the IRS from 2007 to 2011, federal prosecutors said.     Amin faces up to 18 years in federal prison when sentenced Jan. 25, according to prosecutors.

City News Service

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