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Parkville man, 34, violated Iran trade embargo, sentenced to 2 years

A 34-year-old Parkville man was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for violating the 1995 U.S. trade embargo on Iran by setting up a company to export industrial goods to businesses there, federal prosecutors said. His sentence is to be followed by one year of supervised release.

The man, Ali Saboonchi, set up Ace Electric Company to buy industrial parts and components and sell them to a co-conspirator who had businesses in Tehran and the United Arab Emirates, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office said. The evidence, which indicated the conspiracy went on from November 2009 until 2013, was presented at a two-week trial, prosecutors said.

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The parts included: two cyclone separators, used in pipelines to separate impurities such as sand from liquids; six thermocouples, used to measure temperatures of liquids and gases in industrial applications in the chemical and petrochemical fields; 10 stainless steel filter elements, used primarily in the oil and gas industry and can be used in water plants, hydrocarbon plants and nuclear plants, prosecutors said.

He also sold Iranian businesses four bypass filters; three flow meters, which are used primarily in industrial applications to measure the flow of water but could be adjusted to measure other liquids and gases; three actuator springs, which are used to control the flow rate of a liquid; numerous industrial parts, including hydraulic valves and connectors; and liquid pumps and valves, which have oil, gas, energy, aerospace and defense applications, prosecutors said.

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He bought the items, got price quotes from the Iranian businesses and shipped them to the UAE and China, where the co-conspirators could receive them and send him money, prosecutors said.

Arash Rashti Mohammad, Mehdi Mohammadi and Ehsan Naghshinea, citizens and residents of Iran, were identified as co-conspirators, indicted and are now fugitives, prosecutors said.

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