CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—June 21, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
According to a newly unsealed federal indictment, Saeed Valadbaigi, an Iranian businessman allegedly schemed with the owner of a European company to illegally export nuclear nonproliferation-controlled materials to Iran from Illinois.
Valadbaigi, also known as “Saeed Valad” and “Saeed Baigi,” allegedly plotted in 2011 to illegally export U.S.-origin 7075 T6 Aluminum tubing from Illinois to Iran by way of Belgium and Malaysia, the indictment states. The size and type of the aluminum was used in the missile and aerospace industry and was subject to U.S. regulations for nuclear nonproliferation purposes, the indictment states. Valadbaigi’s smuggling plan was part of an effort to evade U.S. laws and export-control regulations, according to the charges.
Valadbaigi, 56, is considered a fugitive. A warrant for his arrest was issued in 2016 and remains outstanding.
In addition to the 7075 Aluminum tubing, the newly unsealed indictment accuses Valadbaigi of illegally exporting titanium sheets from a company in northern Illinois, to Iran, by way of the Republic of Georgia, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. At the time of that deal in 2009, Valadbaigi controlled various companies in all three of those countries, the indictment states. The charges further allege that Valadbaigi in 2012 ordered acrylic sheets from a company in Connecticut, and falsely claimed that the sheets would be used only in Hong Kong. He later allegedly arranged for the acrylic sheets to be transshipped to Iran.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each count of wire fraud and attempting to violate the IEEPA carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The illegal export charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison, while the conspiracy and false statement counts are each punishable by up to five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.