New York man sentenced for attempting to export carbon fiber to Iran

Richard Phillips, a resident of Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced to 92 months in prison for attempting to export a spool of carbon fiber to Tehran, Iran, via the Philippines, in violation of the United States trade embargo against Iran.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn, N.Y., USA) reported on June 21 that Richard Phillips, a resident of the Bronx, N.Y., has been sentenced to 92 months’ imprisonment for attempting to export high-­technology commodities to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The proceedings were held before United States District Court Judge Sandra L. Townes at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent ­in ­Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York Field Office, and Ed Bradley, Special Agent­in­Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office.

According to the pleadings and other court filings by the government, in October 2011, Phillips offered his services and expertise in exporting a spool of carbon fiber to Tehran, Iran, via the Philippines, in violation of the United States trade embargo against Iran. In a recorded telephone conversation with an undercover agent, Phillips was warned that the export of the carbon fiber to Iran was illegal under the trade embargo.

After a series of calls, email exchanges and meetings with undercover agents of HSI and DCIS, Phillips took possession of a spool of carbon fiber, which was placed into a shipping container, and affixed a label to the container addressed to the Philippines, where it was to be forwarded to Iran. 

“We stand committed to protecting our national security by vigorously enforcing our nation’s export control laws,” stated Lynch. “The sentence in this case should serve as a powerful deterrent to those who would violate the Iranian embargo and send sensitive technology and equipment abroad.” Lynch expressed her appreciation to the Counter Espionage Section of the Department of Justice for its assistance.

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