A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted two Iranian men with participating in a conspiracy to procure and illegally send export-controlled computer servers to Iran, it was announced Monday.
Ebrahim Azadegan, 42, and Alireza Alvandi, 45, were named in a 10-count indictment returned on Friday that charges them with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, which restrict the export of goods and services from the United States to foreign nations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Azadegan and Alvandi were also charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, smuggling goods out of the United States, and money laundering. According to the indictment, from January 2013 through July 2017, Azadegan, Alvandi, Dana Point resident Johnny Tourino, and Spectra Equipment Inc. purchased, sent, and attempted to send computer servers to Iran without obtaining licenses from the U.S. government that are required under IEEPA.
Tourino and Spectra were previously indicted in a separate case in 2018 and are scheduled to go on trial in January. The computer servers were dual-use commercial goods, meaning they had both a commercial application and a military or strategic one. The computers were controlled by the Commerce Control List for anti-terrorism and national security reasons.
Azadegan, Alvandi, and Tourino allegedly falsely told the manufacturer that the computer servers were intended for Slovenia, when they knew they were intended for Bank Mellat, an Iranian financial institution, according to federal prosecutors.
Under IEEPA, it is a crime to willfully export or attempt to export items to Iran without a license from the U.S. government. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the computer servers are items that could be detrimental to regional stability and national security.
Azadegan and Alvandi are both believed to be in Iran. The 10 charges in the indictment carry a maximum sentence of 190 years in prison.