PENSACOLA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A UK man was arrested in Pensacola for nearly violating the Iranian embargo by attempting to smuggle power generating equipment to Iran.
United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe, of the Northern District of Florida, announced Tuesday that Colin Fisher, a citizen of the United Kingdom, plead guilty to federal charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and attempted smuggling in relation to exporting power generating equipment to Iran. Fisher was arrested by federal agents when he arrived in Pensacola from the United Arab Emirates earlier this month to consummate the illegal transaction and get equipment for a buyer in Iran.
Fisher, 45, admitted in United States District Court in Pensacola that from October 1, 2017, to August 7, 2020, he worked to violate the Iranian embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the United States for delivery to an end user in Iran. This included participating in fraudulent invoicing and using coded language with conspirators to communicate about the illegal transactions. Despite these efforts, law enforcement authorities discovered the plan and were able to seize the turbine before its transatlantic journey to the end user in Iran, a conspirator in Iran who is linked to an Iranian energy company. The intercepted turbine, which was valued at half a million dollars, could be used to provide needed energy to the oil fields of Iran.
“Exporting technology to Iran is prohibited for a very good reason, yet this defendant chose to put his own self-interest above global and national security,” Keefe said.
James Meharg, CEO and president of Turbine Resources International, LLC, in Pensacola, was previously convicted of conspiring with Fisher to export a large turbine and parts from the United States to an Iranian recipient in violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. Meharg is currently serving a 40-month sentence in federal prison.
Fisher faces up to 20 years imprisonment for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and up to 10 years imprisonment for attempted smuggling. A sentencing date has been set for November 10, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.
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