Farhad Nafeiy, 70, of Alamo, California, was charged with and pleaded guilty yesterday to a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in the Northern District of California.
Under IEEPA, the President of the United States is granted authority to address unusual and extraordinary threats to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. Under that law, the President has issued orders prohibiting certain activities and transactions with Iran and the Government of Iran. The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued regulations, referred to as the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), implementing those orders. These sanctions on Iran generally prohibit, among other things, exporting or facilitating the export of U.S.-origin products to Iran and providing services to Iran.
According to court documents, Nafeiy obtained licenses – or approvals – from OFAC for advising non-Iranian telecommunications companies on doing business with Iran. However, those licenses did not authorize Nafeiy to provide any hardware, software or technology directly to Iran. Nafeiy exceeded his OFAC licenses, thereby violating the ITSR and IEEPA, by directly providing software upgrades to telecommunications equipment in Iran. Nafeiy admitted in his plea agreement that he knew he exceeded these licenses when he did so. In his plea agreement, Nafeiy further admitted that the total amount of sales of such software upgrades to Iran was approximately $400,000. Nafeiy separately was charged with, and admitted to, evading his federal income taxes, and specifically not paying income tax on some of the proceeds of these sales.
On Aug. 10, Nafeiy was charged by information with one count of violating IEEPA and one count of tax evasion. Sentencing is set before the Honorable Aracelli Martínez-Olguín on Jan. 29, 2024.
Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS-Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Kingsley for the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney David Ryan of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Kathleen Turner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Former Trial Attorney Elizabeth Abraham provided valuable assistance in prior phases of the prosecution.
Updated October 3, 2023
Office of Public Affairs Press Release Number: 23-1,091
EXPORT CONTROL National Security Division (NSD)