Turkish businessman gets 27 months in prison for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran
A Turkish citizen was sentenced to 27 months jail time in connection with his conviction for conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions by exporting specialized marine equipment from the United States to Iran between 2013 to 2015, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Tuesday.
According to the statement released by the DoJ, Resit Tavan has conspired to smuggle Wisconsin boat engines and other marine products to the Iranian military.
DoJ statement said,
On April 2, 2019, Tavan, a Turkish citizen, had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by using his Turkish based company, the Ramor Group, to acquire a range of marine related equipment that had been manufactured in Wisconsin by U.S. companies, including high powered outboard engines, marine power generators and power boat propulsion equipment known as surface drives, on behalf of the Iran-based Qeshm Madkandalou Shipbuilding Cooperative (Madkanadalou).
According to USA Today's journal sentinel Tavan, 43, was arrested in Romania in June 2017 on an international warrant stemming from his indictment in Milwaukee. He fought extradition but was brought to Wisconsin in late 2017, where he spent the past 20 months at the Waukesha County Jail.
Due to his time spent in the federal jail, Tavan is facing an expedited deportation back to Istanbul. According to same local journal, speaking through an interpreter, Tavan told the judge he was sorry for his actions and that the biggest pain he's suffered since his arrest is not seeing his children, last Thursday at the court.
Prosecutors recommended a sentence near the bottom range of federal guidelines, which were 46 to 57 months. But Pepper said that while his crime was serious, Tavan was not the mastermind but merely a procurement agent for others.
DoJ statement said a co-defendant charged in the same Indictment, Fulya Kalafatoglu Oguzturk, a Turkish citizen, remains at large as a fugitive.
The U.S. Treasury also sanctioned in July companies in the network run by Colombian businessman Alex Nain Saab Moran, including Turkey's Mulberry Project Investment, that the treasury said had been involved in deceptive practices allowing the sanctioned Maduro regime to profit from Venezuelan gold sold in Turkey.