A court in the United States has charged an Iranian-Canadian with fraud, circumventing sanctions imposed on Iran, and lying to federal agents about sending more than $115 million to Iranian individuals and entities in the Islamic Republic.
"Bahram Karimi was charged with conspiring to commit bank fraud, and making false statements in connection with his involvement in a joint project initiated by the Governments of Iran and Venezuela in which more than $115 million was illegally funneled through the U.S. financial system for the benefit of various Iranian individuals and entities," the Department of Justice (DoJ) reiterated on Friday, January 31.
Based on the documents presented to the court, In August 2004, the governments of Iran and Venezuela entered into an agreement regarding an infrastructure project in Venezuela, which was to involve the construction of 7,000 housing units in Venezuela.
Iranian-Canadian, Bahram Karimi, was a member of the committee and responsible for managing the project in Venezuela.
"Karimi lied to banks about Iranian involvement and took advantage of the U.S. financial system to benefit Iranian parties," Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John C. Demers, told the court on Friday.
The prosecution of the case is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, and in a court presided by the U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan.
There is no report yet on the reaction of 53-year-old Karimi and his attorneys to the charges.
If convicted, Karimi could face up to thirty years in jail for the first two charges, and five years for the third.
In the past, several other Iranians in the U.S. have been charged with fraud and attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions imposed on Tehran.
A forty-year-old Iranian woman, Negar Ghodskani, pleaded guilty last August, in Minnesota, for facilitating the unlawful procurement and export of U.S.-origin goods to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A 64-year-old Iranian resident of Central Ohio was sentenced last October to a twenty-month sentence for violating U.S. sanction by supplying industrial and oil technology to Iran, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.