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July 07, 2010 

New Charges Filed by U.S. Grand Jury Against Irish Trading Company and its Executives for Exporting Military Aircraft Parts to Iran

The Justice Department announced today that a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has charged Mac Aviation Group, a Sligo, Ireland-based trading company, and two of its officers in a 27-count superseding indictment with purchasing F-5 fighter aircraft parts, helicopter engines and other aircraft components from U.S. firms illegally exporting them to Iran via companies in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

Among the alleged recipients of the aircraft parts was a company was designated by the U.S. for being owned or controlled by entities involved in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The defendants, Thomas and Sean McGuinn, were originally charged in July 2008 in a sealed 25-count indictment with two counts of conspiracy, 19 counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian Transactions Regulations, four counts of false statements and forfeiture allegations.

According to the original indictment, beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2008, the defendants solicited purchase orders from customers in Iran for U.S.-origin aircraft engines and parts and then sent requests for aircraft components to U.S. companies. These parts included helicopter engines, aircraft bolts and vanes, and canopy panels for the F-5 fighter aircraft. The defendants wired money to banks in the U.S. as payment for these parts and concealed from U.S. sellers the ultimate end-use and end-users of the purchased parts. The defendants caused these parts to be exported from the United States to Iran via third countries, including Malaysia.
The superseding indictment alleges that from 2005 and continuing until 2006, the defendants caused canopy panels designed for the F-5 fighter aircraft to be exported from the United States to Iran in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The defendants allegedly stated that the end user for the F-5 panels was Nigeria. Instead, the panels were sold by the defendants to a company in Tehran, Iran. The purchase was allegedly arranged through the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA), which was added to OFAC's SDN List in September 2008 for providing support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The defendants were previously charged with purchasing 17 helicopter engines from Rolls Royce Corporation in Indiana for $4.27 million dollars on behalf of an Iranian trading company, some of which were ultimately sent to HESA, and also causing U.S.-origin airplane vanes and bolts to be exported from the United States to Iran.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10-20 years in prison for each of the IEEPA counts, 10 years in prison for the AECA charge, 5-20 years in prison for each of the conspiracy counts, and five years in prison for each of the false statement counts.

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