The American subsidiary of a Japanese company has agreed to pay a $6.3-million criminal fine for illegally shipping equipment to Iran and trying to shield the deal from regulators. The fine is one of the largest penalties for an illegal-export case ever imposed, officials said.
US Commerce Department officials said Ebara International Corporation, based in Sparks, also will pay a $121,000 civil fine after pleading guilty to seven felony charges Thursday in Washington, DC federal court.
According to The AP, it is illegal to sell industrial products to Iran, a nation designated as a state sponsor of "terrorism" by the State Department.
The company was caught in a scheme to sell cryogenic submersible pumps to Iran. The company conspired with two French firms, Cryostar and Technip, to mask the deal by making it appear the pumps were being sold to a French firm. Four pumps were sold and the covert transfer of three others was blocked during the investigation by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security.
The investigation was triggered in August 2003 after inquiries about the diversion were first made to the Commerce Department by a reporter for The Washington Times. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )