Two North Texans Could Get 205 Years in Federal Prison for Exporting Computers to Iran

Categories: Crime

Ghavidal andFaizy.jpg
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Touraj Ghavidel, left, and Borna Faizy.
There is, apparently, an entity known as the North Texas Counterproliferation Task Force. It's sufficiently new/under the radar to yield exactly zero matches on Google, but it's a thing, and it's made up of agents from the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, and the Departments of Commerce and Defense.

We learned that today from the office of U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana, which sent a press release announcing that the task force's investigation had led to the indictment of two North Texas men who allegedly conspired to bypass U.S. sanctions and ship millions of dollars worth of computers to Iran.

Borna Faizy, 42, and Touraj Ghavidel, 44, ran an Addison-based company, Signal Microsystems, that sold computers to customers both domestic and international. There's nothing wrong with that in theory, but the government says Faizy and Ghavidel actively courted customers in Iran, which is the focus of longstanding U.S. sanctions.

To bypass onerous trade restrictions, Faizy and Ghavidel (who, to sound more American and/or dispel any suspicion that they could possibly be engaged in illegal trade with Iran of all places, went by "Brad" and "Brent Dell," respectively) allegedly shipped their computers to Dubai, where they had met many of their Persian customers at the GITEX computer trade show, then had them delivered to Iranian customers via a freight-forwarding company.

They arranged the shipments using fake names and coded language and forged invoices and export forms to make their transactions seem legit, according to the indictment. All told, the government says they illegally sold $12 million worth of computers to customers in Iran.

There's no indication from court documents that any of the computers were used for, say, developing Iranian nuclear weapons or hacking U.S. government websites, but the feds are throwing the book at them nonetheless. Faizy and Ghavidel each face a possible 205 years in prison and $2.75 million fine. They're charged with 11 counts in all: one for conspiracy to illegally export to Iran; nine for illegal export and attempted export of goods to Iran; and one count of making false statements to a federal agency.

But lest you come away with the impression that Faizy and Ghavidel are some anti-American radicals bent on subverting U.S. interests, we leave you with a picture, pulled from Ghavidel's Twitter account, and a question:

TourajRonJeremy.jpg

Is it really possible to hate America and be a fan of Ron Jeremy?

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7 comments
Pishi
Pishi

Faizy went to Parkhill jr. High and JJ Pearce high school. He has been in the country for over 35 of his 42 years. He was as American as apple pie. Muslim? That's funny! Conspiring to hurts Americans? Never. Im sure borna has voted republican for years.. If anything, they suffered from Dallas plasticity in the land of "where do you live, what do you do, and what do you drive". Capitalism is that way... It can tend to foster greed, selfishness, a false sense of self greatness and in the end, foolish choices.... It's sad that in doing what they were doing - they've undermined the last two presidents efforts to curtail irans nuclear program through sanctions, which is pretty close to narcissism to think you were indivinsible and would never get caught.

roo_ster
roo_ster

I hope they enjoy their stay in Club Fed.  I wonder if the local Muslim population will rally to them like they did the HLF folks and the guys who did the same thing for Hamas a few years back?

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

well they don't have to hate America or be connected to weapons developers. they took advantage of opportunities extended to them by this country, opportunities they could not have found anywhere else in the world. too bad they couldn't realize how fortunate they were before they decided to cheat the system........thank you for not showing the speedo portion of that photo.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Trick question, Ron Jeremy is the personification of America.

Pishi
Pishi

These guys were as American as apple pie. Borna went to JJ Pearce high school and didn't know anything Muslim related. They voted right wing republican actually because they loved making money- American capitalist dream. Money leads to greed and hence, illegal acts, to enjoy more money. And to think, one thought the business was legit and he could brag to everyone how successful he was- when he was Breaking the law. Faizy has been here for 35 of his 42 years....

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@roo_ster that was over 2 computers.  They tried to comply, were dismissed and sent the two apple computers anyway, to a cousin.  Further, it doesn't appear these people were interested in Charity as HLF was. 

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