Iranian Millionaire Jailed for Violating US Sanctions

  • The United States has imprisoned the CEO of a fiscal companies organization that served Iranian nationals perform economical transactions in violation of US sanctions.

    Iranian millionaire Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, 33, pleaded guilty in June to one depend of conspiracy to defraud and dedicate offenses in opposition to the United States. On Thursday, a district courtroom in Minneapolis sentenced Shahidian to 23 months in jail.

    Shahidian established and ran Payment24.ir, an on the internet platform that assisted Iranian nationals circumvent US sanctions prohibiting economical transactions with enterprises primarily based in the United States. End users of the platform paid a payment to get all over American sanctions so they could buy laptop program, application licenses, and pc servers from US providers.

    Payment24 experienced places of work in Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan, Iran, and used about 40 men and women. To Iranian customers seeking to make online buys from United States-centered corporations, the enterprise marketed a offer that included a PayPal account, a fraudulent “ID card and tackle receipt,” a remote IP tackle from the United Arab Emirates, and a Visa gift card.

    Clients have been suggested by Payment24 on how to produce accounts with a international identification and have been instructed “under no circumstances try logging into a foreign web-site with an Iranian IP deal with.”

    To obtain the transactions, Shahidian received payment-processing accounts from United States-primarily based companies like PayPal making use of fraudulent passports and other phony residency documentation to make it show up as even though his customers resided outdoors of Iran. Shahidian admitted to opening hundreds of PayPal accounts on behalf of his resident Iranian prospects and to unlawfully bringing tens of millions of US pounds into the economic system of Iran.

    Shahidian was arrested in London, Uk, in November 2018 just after staying noticed going to a range of vacationer places, together with the London Eye and Madame Tussauds. He was extradited to the US in Could 2020.

    The UK’s National Criminal offense Agency cybercrime investigators said that they believe Payment24 experienced beforehand been applied “by international cyber-criminals in search of to goal the United kingdom.”

    “In Iran, centered on his illegal business enterprise, Mr. Shahidian had been a higher-profile government and a millionaire,” said US Lawyer Erica MacDonald. “He is now a convicted felon who has dropped almost everything.”