Crime

Midstate prosecution still alive in alleged conspiracy to sell aircraft parts to Iran, UAE

Then-U.S. Attorney Michael Moore talks during a June 2011 news conference, explaining an alleged arms sales network providing aircraft parts to Iran,
Then-U.S. Attorney Michael Moore talks during a June 2011 news conference, explaining an alleged arms sales network providing aircraft parts to Iran, breaking@macon.com

A federal case linking Middle Georgia to a conspiracy to sell military aircraft parts to Iran and the United Arab Emirates is still pending, six years after a Perry aircraft maintenance worker was sentenced to prison.

Earlier this month, a Macon-based federal judge signed an order unsealing arrest warrants in the case after prosecutors filed a request for the order, saying law enforcement agents are trying to locate three companies and arrest five individuals allegedly involved in the case:

▪ United Arab Emirates-based Aletra General Trading — also known as Erman & Sultan Trading Co. and Syed Amir Ahmed Najfi, an Iranian national and salesman for Aletra General Trading;

▪ France-based Aerotechnic company; its president, Philippe Sanchez, and sales manager Luc Teuly;

▪ Hassan Seifi and Reza Seifi, and their Tehran, Iran-based Sabanican Co.

The three companies, Najfi, Sanchez, Teuly, Seifi and Seifi are accused of violating the Arms Export Control Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and defrauding the United States, according to a 2011 indictment.

In 2011, Michael Edward Todd pleaded guilty to conspiring to export parts to Iran. A second man, Hamid “Hank” Seifi, pleaded guilty to that charge and to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Both men were sentenced to prison terms.

Seifi and his Illinois-based company, Galaxy Aviation Services, bought parts from Todd and his company, The Parts Guys, that operated out of a warehouse at Middle Georgia Regional Airport. The purchases allegedly were made on behalf of Hassan and Reza Seifi and Sabanican Co.

The parts — for attack helicopters and fighter jets — were then exported to Iran through Aerotechnic, authorities said at a 2011 news conference. The United State gave the aircraft to Iran before the country’s revolution in 1979.

The 2011 indictment contends that The Parts Guys, Galaxy Aviation Services, Aerotechnic, Sabican Co., Todd, Hank Seifi, Sanchez, Teuly, Hassan Seifi and Reza Seifi didn’t have a license or permission to export goods, technology or services to Iran.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

Amy Leigh Womack: 478-744-4398, @awomackmacon

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