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Defendant sentenced in conspiracy to export aircraft parts to Iran

12th June 2009 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, US Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and Amie R. Tanchak, Resident Agent in Charge, US Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, announced today that defendant Traian Bujduveanu was sentenced in Miami federal court for his role in a conspiracy to illegally export military and dual use aircraft parts to Iran. Bujduveanu's co-defendant, Hassan Keshari, and his corporation, Kesh Air International, were sentenced in May 2009.

US District Court Judge Patricia Seitz sentenced Bujduveanu to 35 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Bujduveanu pled guilty on April 2, 2009, to Count 1 of the Indictment, which charged conspiracy to export and cause the export of goods from the US to the Islamic Republic Iran, in violation of the Embargo imposed upon that country by the United States and in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Title 50, United States Code, 1705(a), and to export and cause to be exported defense articles, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778(b), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

As part of his plea, Bujduveanu, a Romanian national and naturalised US citizen, admitted that he used his Plantation, Fla., corporation, Orion Aviation, to sell aircraft parts to Keshari for purchasers in Iran and exported the aircraft parts to Iran by way of freight forwarders in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Among the aircraft parts illegally exported to Iran through the conspiracy were parts designed exclusively for the F-14 Fighter Jet, the Cobra AH-1 Attack Helicopter, and the CH-53A Military Helicopter. All of these aircraft are part of the Iranian military fleet, while the F-14 is known to be used exclusively by the Iranian military.

Moreover, all of the parts supplied by Bujduveanu as part of the conspiracy are manufactured in the US, are designed exclusively for military use, and have been designated by the US Department of State as "defense articles" on the US Munitions List, thus requiring registration and licensing with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Neither Bujduveanu nor his co-defendants are registered or had the required licenses to ship defense articles to Iran.

According to the Indictment and statements and documents filed with the court, Bujduveanu received orders by email from Keshari requesting specific aircraft parts for buyers in Iran. Bujduveanu then provided quotes, usually by e-mail, to Keshari.

After the receipt of payment for the parts from Keshari, Bujduveanu then shipped the parts to a company in Dubai through the use of false or misleading shipping documents. From Dubai, the parts were then shipped on to the purchasers in Iran.

Bujduveanu has been in federal custody since his arrest in June 2008.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the US Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and the US Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, for their work on this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Melissa Damian. Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee, of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division, is providing assistance.

The Shephard News Team


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