4 charged with illegal exports to China, Iran
Four men were charged with making illegal exports of carbon fiber from the United States to Iran and China, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.
Carbon fiber has a variety of uses, including in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium and in military aircraft and strategic missiles.
The four individuals charged are Hamid Reza Hashemi, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen who resides in Iran; Peter Gromacki, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Orange County, N.Y.; Amir Abbas Tamimi, an Iranian citizen and a resident of Iran; and Murat Taskiran, a Turkish citizen. Hashemi, Gromacki, and Tamimi are in U.S. custody.
Hashemi is alleged to have violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by working with others, including Taskiran, to arrange for the export of carbon fiber from the U.S. to his company in Tehran. Hashemi was arrested at JFK International Airport as he entered the United States on Dec. 1 and was arraigned in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., on Dec. 4.
Gromacki allegedly violated IEEPA by using his company to export carbon fiber from the United States to China. He was arrested Thursday morning at his residence in Orange County, and was arraigned in federal court in White Plains.
Tamimi also allegedly violated IEEPA by working to export helicopter parts from the United States to Iran, via South Korea. He was arrested at JFK International Airport as he entered the United States on Oct. 5 and was arraigned on Oct. 9 in federal court in Manhattan.
According to the indictments, from 2007 until his arrest, Hashemi, 52, lived and worked in Iran, and operated a company in Tehran, which procured carbon fiber from various brokers. Taskiran was the managing director of a company in Turkey.
For example, in March and April 2008, Hashemi, Taskiran, and a Europe-based broker successfully arranged for the shipment of carbon fiber from the United States to the Iranian company. Specifically, the broker bought carbon fiber from a U.S. supplier, and arranged for the supplier to export it from the United States to Europe. The broker then used a European freight forwarder – “a private company that handles large overseas exports” – to send the carbon fiber from Europe to United Arab Emirates, and arranged for the carbon fiber to be sent from the U.A.E. to the Iranian company operated by Hashemi, the indictment explained.
In June 2007, Gromacki, 48, arranged for the export of more than 6,000 pounds of carbon fiber from the United States to Belgium, which was then shipped to China. In addition, and in connection with this export, he made various false statements on a shipper’s export declaration form.
Beginning in November 2011 and until his arrest, Tamimi, 40, attempted to arrange for the export of helicopter parts from the United States to Iran. The components were for a particular helicopter that can be used for military purposes, including for reconnaissance, tactical insertion, and as a missile platform, the indictment said.
None of the men obtained pre-approval from the Treasury and Commerce departments to make the shipments.
If found guilty, Hashemi faces a maximum of 60 years in jail, while Gromacki faces 30 years; Taskiran, 40 years; and Tamimi, 40 years.