A tearful Portuguese businessman who said he had “shamed” his family was sentenced to a year and one day in prison Monday by a Los Angeles federal judge for involvement in a scheme to ship radar parts for the Hawk missile system from the United States to Iran.
“You have my word--the word of a man of honor--that you will never regret it if you allow me to go back to Portugal,” a sobbing Moises Broder told U.S. District Judge Harry L. Hupp before sentencing.
“I don’t disbelieve you,” responded Hupp, who also fined Broder $50,000, “but I have a larger responsibility. I am going to sentence you to discourage other foreign businessmen who might be lured by easy money.”
Broder, 47, of Lisbon was one of five Portuguese citizens indicted in February for allegedly conspiring to sell more than $600,000 worth of restricted parts for the Hawk missile system to Iran.
Carlos A. Ribeiro, 45, owner of a Sherman Oaks travel agency, and Eduardo G. Ojeda, 54, of Lisbon pleaded guilty with Broder to reduced charges last month. Ribeiro, who functioned as a translator during the scheme, was fined $10,000 and placed on three years’ probation. Ojeda faces sentencing next week.
The two other defendants are believed to be in Portugal, and the United States is seeking their arrests, Assistant U.S. Atty. William F. Fahey said.
Broder has already served more than four months of his sentence in unusually luxurious surroundings. In an order opposed by the U.S. attorney’s office, a federal magistrate had earlier allowed him to reside in a Los Angeles condominium under guard so that he could continue to operate his business pending the outcome of his case.
Defense lawyers estimated that Broder will probably have to spend about three more months in custody before he is released. Hupp said he would recommend that Broder be placed in a minimum-security facility but ordered that he move out of his condominium and report to federal authorities within 24 hours.
“He’s been ensconced in a very luxurious condo setting,” said Fahey, who argued that Broder should serve a two-year prison term. “He is a very wealthy man. He was motivated by greed.”