Federal prosecutors announced Talebi’s plea today in an e- mailed statement. He was charged in July with procuring supplies for Iran, and faced allegations he engaged in a scheme to illegally export parts used in industrial petrochemical operations in violation of the U.S trade embargo.
“It is critical that our trade sanctions against Iran be strictly enforced, and we will continue to work with the Department of Commerce and other law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who seek to violate our export laws,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in the statement.
Talebi’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, had no immediate comment.
Talebi was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as he arrived in the U.S. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and faces as many as five years in prison, according to the statement. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain on Dec. 19.
According to today’s statement, Talebi pleaded guilty to allegations contained in the July indictment, which claimed that in 2011, Talebi ordered at least $390,000 worth of industrial parts and goods from a business in Ardsley, New York, and then worked to ship the items from the U.S. to Dubai and on to Iran.
The items were to be sent to petrochemical companies in Iran in violation of U.S. criminal laws prohibiting shipments of goods from the U.S. to Iran without a license, prosecutors said.
The case is U.S. v. Talebi, 12-CR-295, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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