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Iranian Charged With Plot To Smuggle Material From Illinois

Iran -- Newly-upgraded Sayyad-3 air defense missiles are displayed during an inauguration of its production line at an undisclosed location in Iran, July 22, 2017

A federal indictment accuses a 56-year-old Iranian businessman of trying to smuggle materials used in the missile industry and restricted under nuclear-nonproliferation rules from Illinois to Iran.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Saeed Valadbaigi plotted in 2011 to illegally export aluminum tubing used in both the missile and the aerospace industries from Illinois to Iran by way of Belgium and Malaysia.

The eight-count indictment was returned in 2016 but unsealed only this week.

Valadbaigi is considered a fugitive by U.S. authorities. Prosecutors did not provide details on his possible whereabouts.

Charges against Valadbaigi include wire fraud and attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

One fraud count alone carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Court filings don't identify an attorney for Valadbaigi.