US Attorney – Iranian Convicted Of Violating trade Embargo and Lying To Authorities

LAWFUEL – Legal Announcement Service – A former interrogator for the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Iran was found guilty this afternoon of violating the trade embargo with Iran by entering into consulting contracts to help two companies in that country and then failing to report his income to the Internal Revenue Service.

Seyed Mahmood Mousavi, 49, of Diamond Bar, was found guilty of six felony counts, including two counts of violating International Emergency Economic Powers Act by engaging in business with a Kuwaiti company that was working on behalf of two Iranian companies. Mousavi was also convicted of filing a false tax return, impeding the administration of tax, illegally procuring citizenship and making a false statement to federal investigators.

The evidence presented at trial showed that in 2002 Mousavi entered into a contract with Al Mal Kuwait Co. to provide services prohibited by the United States trade embargo against Iran. A contract recovered by federal investigators showed that Mousavi agreed to provide consulting services in support of Al Mal Kuwaiti Co.’s efforts to bid for a mobile communication license in Iran and to establish a bank and leasing company in Iran, and to provide any needed follow-up with authorities. He received more than $45,000 from Al Mal Kuwait Co. that was not reported on his 2002 tax return.

During 2003 and 2004, Mousavi also received more than $500,000 from his Hajj caravan travel business. However, none of this income was reported on either his personal or business income tax returns.

In 1998, after Mousavi submitted to United States immigration officials an application for naturalization, he was interviewed and made false statements under oath. Even though he was specifically asked about military service and affiliation with organizations, Mousavi failed to disclose that had participated in military service in Iran. He also failed to disclose that he was a member of various Iranian organizations, including the Islamic Revolutionary Committee, the Islamic Revolutionary Court as an interrogator, the Office of the Governor General, the Housing Foundation in the Province of Khuzestan, the Committee of the Center for Industrial Expansion in the Province of Khuzestan, the Welcoming Committee for the Imame Ummat (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini), the Tribal Center of the Province of West Azerbaijan as a Supervisor, and the Office of Public Security as the Director. When IRS and FBI agents interviewed Mousavi during a search of his residence in June 2006, he again denied that he had been in the Iranian military.

“Any foreign national admitted to the United States is expected to follow the laws of the United States,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “Withholding information from immigration officials and conducting trade with a prohibited country such as Iran compromises our national security.”

Mousavi is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson on June 30. At the time of sentencing, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 61 years in federal prison. He is currently being held without bail.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS – Criminal Investigation.

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Susan J. DeWitt

National Security Section

(213) 894-4496

Assistant United States Attorney Donald F. Gaffney

National Security Section

(213) 894-6968

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