An Iranian man is expected to plead guilty Tuesday morning in Los Angeles to a federal conspiracy charge for allegedly 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 lived in Los Angeles, was charged in a 21-count indictment unsealed in August in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He is expected to enter a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez to a single count of conspiring to violate IEEPA.
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 machines are export-controlled for nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism reasons, federal prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges a scheme in which Hashemi purchased the numerical control 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 the 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 the equipment 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 numerical control machines to Iran.
A second defendant charged in the indictment — Feroz Khan of the United Arab Emirates, who allegedly helped to ship the machines from the UAE to Iran — is a fugitive, federal authorities said.
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