A U.S. resident has entered a guilty plea for her part in an international conspiracy to import aircraft parts to Iran in violation of sanctions imposed under Presidential Emergency Powers. The CEO and sole officer of an aviation supply firm operated from her New Jersey home is now facing up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Prosecutors Make an Arrest
Federal prosecutors say that Morris County, NJ resident Joyce Eliabachus (aka Joyce Marie Gundran Manangan) has admitted to taking part in a scheme to export aviation parts from the U.S. to Iran in violation of sanctions imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The 52-year-old has entered a guilty plea to charges stemming from her involvement with a syndicate that may have smuggled as much as $2 million worth of aircraft parts to the regime.
“For over two years, Eliabachus illegally engaged in aircraft component sales to Iran, a nation listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael said in a Justice Department statement celebrating the guilty plea. “This potentially endangered U.S. security, particularly as one of the Iranian companies sold to does business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a military unit tied to terrorist acts around the world. As protectors of the homeland, HSI is proud to have worked with other government agencies to have exposed this dangerous network.”
A Home-Grown Operation
Investigators say that Eliabachus operated an aviation supply company, which was little more than a front for the smuggling operation, from her New Jersey home. According to court documents, Edsun Equipments LLC, procured the parts from distributors in the U.S. and then shipped the parts to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey, where other members of the network would forward the shipments to Iran.
Eliabachus entered a guilty plea earlier this month to one count of conspiracy to violate the IEEPA. At her September sentencing, she will face the prospect of five years behind bars and a fine of $250,000. Upon her admission of guilt, prosecutors also unsealed charges against alleged co-conspirator, Peyman Amiri Larijani. The 33-year-old Iranian national is accused of money laundering and smuggling and could face up to 25 years behind bars and more than a million dollars in fines if apprehended and convicted.
“Eliabachus and others allegedly ran an international smuggling ring that shipped $2 million in aircraft parts to multiple Iranian airlines, including a company that has provided financial, material, and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito explained. “This arrest, which was made possible by a close collaboration between our office and our partners at Homeland Security Investigations and the Office of Export Enforcement, has snuffed out another source of funds and goods to overseas entities that may endanger our national and economic security.”
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