Individuals Sentenced For Export Of Computer Equipment To Iran

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[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Massoud Habibion, 49, a U.S. citizen, Mohsen Motamedian, 44, a U.S. citizen, and their Costa Mesa, Calif., company, Online Micro LLC, were sentenced  in the District of Columbia in connection with a scheme to illegally export millions of dollars worth of computer-related goods from the United States to Iran through the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under the terms of their guilty pleas and related civil settlements with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and OFAC, Habibion and his company have agreed to forfeiture of $1.9 million seized from Online Micro’s bank accounts by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) during the course of the investigation.   In addition, Habibion and Online Micro are denied export privileges for 10 years, although the denial order will be suspended provided that neither Habibion nor Online Micro commit any export violations during the 10-year probationary period and comply with the terms of the criminal plea agreements and sentences.  Motamedian separately agreed to a $50,000 monetary penalty to settle a civil charge that he solicited a false statement to federal law enforcement agents.

Habibion and Motamedian were arrested on a criminal complaint in California on April 7, 2011.  The defendants and their company were later indicted on April 21, 2011.

In or around May 2007, Online Micro purchased 1,000 computer units from Dell for approximately $500,000. Later that year, Dell began receiving service calls concerning Dell computer units from individuals in Iran, and after conducting an internal investigation, suspended Online Micro from placing further orders with Dell.