An Oct. 15 trial date is scheduled for an Iranian man charged in Los Angeles with shipping prohibited items from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation.
Mehdi “Eddie” Hashemi, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran who previously resided in Los Angeles, is charged in a 21-count indictment that was unsealed Monday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Hashemi, 46, allegedly participated in a conspiracy to illegally export computer numerical control machines, which are used to process raw materials, such as metals, to precise standards, to Iran. The CNC machines at issue in this case are export-controlled for nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism reasons, federal prosecutors said.
Hashemi was taken into custody on Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport upon his arrival on a flight from Turkey and was arraigned on the indictment late Monday afternoon. He entered not guilty pleas and was ordered held without bond.
The indictment alleges a scheme in which Hashemi purchased CNC machines and related equipment from suppliers in the United States and Canada, made arrangements to ship the machines to the United Arab Emirates under false and forged invoices and packing lists, and then arranged to forward the machines from the UAE to Iran. Hashemi purchased the machines on behalf of a Tehran-based company identified in the indictment as Company A, an outfit that claimed to manufacture textiles, medical and automotive components, and spare parts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment details illegal shipments of CNC machines and related equipment to the UAE and alleges that Hashemi knew and intended for them to be forwarded to Iran. Federal prosecutors also contend that Hashemi attempted to export CNC machines on several occasions, including two attempts through the Port of Long Beach.
Hashemi is additionally charged with making false statements to federal authorities in 2018 when he allegedly lied about his activities, his knowledge of federal export laws and his intention to send the CNC machines to Iran.
The indictment charges Hashemi with conspiring to violate IEEPA, violating IEEPA, smuggling, money laundering, unlawful export information activities and making false statements.
A second defendant charged in the indictment — Feroz Khan of the United Arab Emirates, who allegedly helped to ship CNC machines from the UAE to Iran — is a fugitive, federal authorities said.
If he’s convicted of the 21 charges in the indictment, Hashemi would face up to 320 years in federal prison, according to prosecutors.