Elk Grove resident one of two indicted for violating the Iranian trade embargo

A Federal Grand Jury in Sacramento today issued indictments against two men who are accused of conspiracy to violate the United States’ embargo on Iran and engaging in prohibited trade-related transactions with Iran.

The three-count indictment unsealed today accuses Dariush Niknia, 56, of Elk Grove, and Richard Lant, 74, of Las Vegas, Nevada. 

According to the indictment, over a six month period starting in May 2015, the two suspects conspired to unlawfully sell Russian tank helmets to Niknia’s contact in Tehran, Iran. The indictment alleges that in May 2015, Niknia contacted Lant, who operated R&L Ltd., a company that sold Russian items, and requested to purchase 500 tank helmets and have them shipped to Tehran. 
Niknia initially paid R&L monies to purchase two sample tank helmets and to have the helmets sent from Russia to Iran. Once Ninkia’s customer approved the second sample tank helmet, Niknia paid Lant additional money in an attempt to purchase an additional 50 tank helmets for shipment to Iran.
The embargo on Iran, which is enforced through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, prohibits the export, sale, and supply of goods to Iran by United States persons with very limited exceptions. It also prohibits, with very limited exceptions, United States persons from engaging in any transaction or dealing related to the sale or supply of goods to Iran.
If convicted, Niknia and Lant face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

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