Background

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that a Portuguese citizen could be sentenced to 20 months in prison in September after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to unlawfully export goods and technology to Iran and defraud the U.S. government. This charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties.

According to an ICE press release, the man admitted that between October 2014 and April 2016 he worked for a Portuguese company that served as a front to purchase sophisticated equipment on behalf of an Iranian client. The machines he helped procure are used to produce optical lenses and test inertial guidance system components, both of which have both commercial and military uses. The front company told the U.S. sellers that it was purchasing the machines for its own use but planned to have them shipped to Iran.

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