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January 12, 2010 

Philadelphia Area Chemical Engineer Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Violating Iran Sanctions

Philly.com reports that Dr. Ali Amirnazmi, a Stanford trained chemical engineer and founder of Exton, Pennsylvania-based TranTech Consultants Inc, who was convicted in February 2009 of violating the U.S. embargo on Iran, was sentenced today to four years in prison and five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to a bank of $17,277, forfeit $81,277 and continue mental-health treatment.

Dr. Amirnazmi was convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), three counts of violating IEEPA, three counts of making false statements to federal officials and three counts of bank fraud.

The Justice Department alleged that Amirnazmi, a citizen of the U.S. and Iran, participated in illegal business transactions with Iran between 1996 and 2008. Amirnazmi also allegedly engaged in investments with companies located in Iran, including a chemical company controlled in whole or in part by the government of Iran.

The jury convicted Amirnazmi of making false statements to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about business deals with Iran in an attempt to cover up that illegal activity. Amirnazmi also allegedly submitted false tax returns to several banks in order to secure loans for which he would not have qualified.

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