A man who ran a North Charleston business has been sentenced to three years in prison for illegally exporting goods to Iran.
A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states that 49-year-old Markos Baghdasarian of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced in federal court Wednesday. He had already pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, violating the Iranian trade embargo, and making a materially false statement to authorities.
It’s against the law to trade with Iran without special permission from the government. Federal law also requires exporters to file forms saying where their shipments are going.
Baghdasarian was president of Delfin Group USA, a Russian-owned producer and supplier of synthetic motor oils based in North Charleston.
Prosecutors say Baghdasarian engaged in prohibited transactions with customers in Iran in violation of the Iran trade embargo from June 2010 until October 2011. Investigators say Delphin worked with Pars Oil, an oil company owned by the Iranian government.
Baghdasarian admitted exporting oils and polymers worth more than $2 million to Iran, and concealing that Iranian customers were the true recipients by falsely asserting that a UAE business entity was the ultimate consignee for the goods. Investigators say he did so because it was a large market that was off-limits to his competitors.
Baghdasarian was arrested last year at the Atlanta airport before he could board a flight to the United Arab Emirates.