Owner of Newport Beach Firm, Manager Indicted : * Exports: They are accused of shipping to Iran electronics that can be used in missile guidance and nuclear weapons.
The owner of a Newport Beach company and a manager were indicted Thursday on charges of illegally exporting to Iran electronic testing and measuring equipment that could be used to develop missile guidance systems and nuclear weapons.
Reza (Ray) Amiri, 43, an Iranian national and owner of Ray Amiri Computer Consultants, and Mohammad (Don) Danesh, 55, the firm’s operations manager, were charged in a 17-count indictment in U.S. District Court here.
The men were arrested Aug. 28 after investigations by the Department of Commerce.
Amiri, who lives in Iran, is in jail and has been denied bail, while Danesh, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Mission Viejo, is free on $50,000 bond.
Federal prosecutors allege that from April, 1989, to October, 1990, the two and unnamed accomplices exported sensitive high-technology electronic equipment to destinations in Iran, including the Ministry of Defense, the Iran Telecommunications Research Center and the Iran Telecommunications Manufacturing Co.
The equipment, which has both commercial and military applications, included oscilloscopes, logic analyzers and pulse generators.
Amiri and Danesh are each charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the U.S. Export Administration Act, eight counts of illegally exporting the equipment and eight counts of submitting false export shipping declarations.
If convicted on all counts, Amiri and Danesh each face up to 120 years in prison and a $4.25-million fine.
The equipment had a market value of about $60,000, the prosecutors said.
“It’s not the dollar value of the commodities that counts, it’s what this equipment is capable of doing,” said Jim Lowry, a federal agent at the Bureau of Export Administration in Newport Beach.
The U.S. government embargoed the sale of military hardware and commercial products with potential military applications to Iran in 1979, after the fall of the shah.
Since his arrest last month, Amiri has been denied bail three times, prosecutors said. Earlier this week, he replaced his attorney, Bruce M. Margolin, with Victor Sherman, a Santa Monica criminal lawyer.