Canadian exporter sentenced in U.S. for breaching Iran embargo by secretly exporting oil and gas equipment

A man counts Iranian rials at a currency exchange shop, before the start of the U.S. sanctions on Tehran, in Basra, Iraq November 3, 2018.

A Toronto export manager for a Mississauga company has been sentenced to prison in the United States for illegally exporting gas turbine engine parts to Iran, in violation of long-standing U.S. embargo and trade sanctions.

Angelica O. Preti, 45, of Toronto, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Ohio.

Few details, however, are available — including details of the allegations against her or the date she was arrested — as the case is sealed by the court and remains “sensitive,” according to a Justice Department official.

“Preti made a calculated decision to harm the United States by supplying enemies abroad,” U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said in a written statement.

“Preti also attempted to cover up her crimes by directing the filing of false electronic export information, and attesting that the final destination of goods was not Iran. Preti also employed a number of additional methods to obscure the fact that Iran was the end-user for the shipments,” DeVillers said.

U.S. authorities said that during Preti’s time as export operations manager at UE Canada Inc., the freight company was involved with 47 shipments exported from the U.S. Of those shipments, 23 were traced as destined for Iran.

UE Canada is based in Mississauga, 5 kilometres west of Toronto Pearson Airport.

The company’s phone number listed on its website was not in service Tuesday. Requests for comment and information sent to two email addresses for the company went unanswered prior to deadline.

The company’s website was registered in 2000 and last updated last October. The phone number listed on the website’s registration was answered by an automated answering service in the name of UE Canada.

A message left on the phone for the head of the company, Martin Moin, also went unanswered prior to deadline. Moin’s LinkedIn page says he has been president of UE Canada since 1994, after attending Toronto’s George Brown College.

Preti was convicted of conspiring to violate the U.S. International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Iran has been subject to U.S. embargo and trade sanctions since 1979, initiated during the Iran hostage crisis when American diplomats and citizens were held hostage inside the U.S. embassy in Tehran. It was the first use of the U.S. government’s modernized version of the Trading with the Enemy Act, which was initially used during the First World War.

According to U.S. authorities and Preti’s LinkedIn page, Preti worked as the export operations manager at UE Canada, a Canadian forwarding and customs brokerage service provider with significant business in the U.S., including in Ohio.

Preti helped facilitate the shipment to Iran of U.S.-origin gas turbine engine parts, valve assemblies and connectors used for industrial pipelines in the gas and oil refinement industry, in deliberate violation of a U.S. embargo and trade sanctions, authorities said.

Her case is linked to the conviction and sentencing last year of an Ohio man, also for exporting gas and oil pipeline parts to Iran.

Behrooz Behroozian, 64 at the time, was sentenced to 20 months in prison. For more than a decade, he deliberately violated the embargo and trade sanctions against Iran, court found.

Why Canadian sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard might do more harm than good 'I feel like I am an actor playing in a thriller spy movie': U.S. sanctions turn Iran’s oil industry into a game of espionage 'Outrageous and idiotic': War of words heats up between Trump and Iran over new sanctions

Behroozian was born in Iran, went to the U.S. in 1976 and became a U.S. citizen in 1987. Authorities said he made $35,000 to $40,000 each year for his subterfuge.

“Behroozian profited financially by strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism,” U.S. officials said at the time of his sentencing.

The precise connection between Behroozian and Preti is unknown, because his indictment and portions of his sentencing hearing also remains under seal.

Behroozian remains in prison. His motion for compassionate release from prison due to severe health risks from COVID-19 was recently denied.

National Post


Load more
Read full article on: nationalpost.com
Navy investigating unexplained breakdown on brand-new Arctic patrol vessel
Commodore Richard Feltham says HMCS Harry DeWolf was forced to return to port after its freshwater generator and communications systems didn't work.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Fact check: Falsehoods and fumbles in Trump-Biden debate
Here's a look at how some of the statements on the presidential debate stage compared with the facts.
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Quebec nurses call off overtime strike planned for this weekend
Treasury Board president Sonia LeBel says she wants to quickly find a way to improve working conditions.
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak in surgical unit
'All outbreak control measures are in place and there has been no transmission to other patient care areas of the hospital.-
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
China says Britain ‘violated promises,’ may not recognize Hong Kong passports
Britain accuses China of failing to live up to its pledges to maintain freedoms in the special administrative region, while Beijing says London is interfering in its internal affairs.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
More than 15,000 tickets issued to drivers in Toronto from speeding cameras
The tickets were issued between Aug. 6 and Sept. 5, which was the second month since the cameras were put into use to catch drivers travelling above posted speed limits.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Ottawa predicts issues at border unless Safe Third Country Agreement extended
Under the refugee agreement, which took effect in 2004, Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
'The city is not burning': How Portland belies the image of anarchy that is central to Trump's campaign
PORTLAND, Ore. – Teddy Roosevelt had seen better days. The controversial U.S. president — or at least a bronze rendering of him on horseback — was being lowered sideways by crane onto a flatbed truck, looking for all the world like a giant toy soldier. The night before, protesters taking part in an “indigenous day of rage,” had yanked Roosevelt off the podium he’d stood atop since 1922, a symbolic blow against a president with a well-documented hatred for America’s first peoples. He wasn’t alone, as demonstrators also hauled down a statue of Abraham Lincoln — citing his own ill treatment of the indigenous — smashed windows at the Oregon Historical Society across the street and vandalized assorted other buildings. But as onlookers watched Roosevelt being carted away for repairs a week and a half ago, there was relatively little condemnation of the “direct action” the previous evening. Or of protests generally that have roiled the neighbourhood for months. “I live one block from here, downtown, and a little bit of inconvenience from noise and people expressing their rights doesn’t bother me at all,” said retired architect Jeff Scherer, 72. “For the last 115 days, every day we’ve walked down to where the protests are and have never felt threatened.” Donald Trump, of course, sees things differently. The statue attacks and other mayhem on Oct. 11 were just the kind of event the U.S. president has seized on to depict Democrat-led cities as permissive havens for “anarchists” and “terrorists.” And to make support for what he calls law and order a central plank of his struggling re-election campaign. 'Look at the bias': Trump releases own recording of abandoned 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl Threatening emails appearing to be from pro-Trump Proud Boys to Democrats were sent by Iran: U.S. spy chief No place has felt Trump’s contempt more than Portland, where mostly peaceful protests against police mistreatment of Black people and other racial injustice have unfolded regularly for more than four months. The shooting of a far-right activist during a run-in with self-described anti-fascist Michael Reinoehl helped fuel the president’s narrative. But in the city itself — an attractive, low-rise community with an astonishing number of trendy coffee shops and craft breweries — the dystopian nightmare image doesn’t quite hold up. The mass protests that sometimes devolved into volleys of water bottles, rocks and fireworks from one side, and tear gas, “non-lethal munitions” and pepper spray from the other, have largely unfolded inside just a few downtown blocks. The area directly around the city’s federal and county courthouses does bear the marks of turmoil. Most windows remain boarded up, a homeless encampment lines a nearby park and Black Lives Matter graffiti is everywhere. And not all residents are fine with what’s happened. Kim Walker, 61, a self-described Trump supporter who believes police are usually justified when they kill Black people, said the protests, along with COVID-19, have decimated business at the restaurant she manages. “It’s had a huge impact,” she said. “Nobody wants to come downtown anymore.” Elsewhere, though, life carries on much as normal, with pandemic-related restrictions having a far greater impact on the city than the protests. There are signs of fatigue at the endless agitation, but they are muted. Which begs the question: Why has Portland, of all places, so thoroughly embraced this movement? The protests began with George Floyd’s death in May after a Minneapolis officer arresting the Black man knelt on his neck for nine minutes. Polls suggest the video-recorded incident helped spark a national awakening in the U.S. about racism. Yet as the epicenter of protest, Portland is a decidedly monochrome city , with white people making up 77 per cent of the population, and Blacks under six per cent — less than half their presence nationwide. White supremacist groups thrive outside urban areas. Ironically, says one expert, the city’s role in racial protests may stem partly from Oregon’s bigoted past, when laws actually barred Black people from entering the state. Those apartheid-like statutes remained on the books until 1925, and the lot of African-Americans didn’t improve much in later years. As recently as the 1970s, said Christopher Nichols, a history professor at Oregon State University, some Oregon towns had sundown laws, which subjected African-Americans to arrest when found in a municipality after dark. A Ku Klux Klan adherent was elected governor in the 1920s. Seemingly in reaction to that dark history, and with demonstrations of all sorts part of the city’s DNA, successive generations of Portlandians have spoken out against racism, he said. “There’s a core of people in Portland who really subscribe to that disobedience model of protest and have refined their techniques over many, many nights,” he added. “And I wouldn’t anticipate they’ll stop any time soon.” Despite sporadic outbreaks of violence and vandalism, the demonstrations have been generally peaceful. The scene had even begun to peter out in July, when Trump ordered federal agents into the city, ostensibly to protect U.S. government buildings. Their tactics triggered a backlash and an influx of additional demonstrators, leading to more dramatic clashes. Added to the mix were groups of armed far-right activists, such as Oregon’s Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, who sometimes sought confrontation with the left-leaning protesters. Some of the leftists also had guns. Still, there had been several days of relative quiet when the indigenouos-rage rally worked its way through downtown 10 days ago. Its aftermath brought subtle signs of tension. The African-American owner of a restaurant on the rally route complained that his business was shot at by the protesters — while empty — after he received a threatening phone call about his open support of police. The Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable criticized what it called “pointless acts of vandalism” that detracted from the serious underlying issues. Nichols is on the board of the Historical Society, which has worked in recent years to document racist aspects of the state’s past. “There’s no justifying that,” he said about the thousands of dollars in damage to its building. Meanwhile, tolerance for the ongoing demonstrations seems to not always extend to visible support for them. A few days after the statue incident, a weekly rally in the name of Patrick Kimmons , a Black man shot by police two years ago, wound through northeast Portland’s residential streets. One or two cars honked in solidarity and a Black family cheered from their front porch. But most people ignored the 50 or so largely white protesters as they marched down the middle of the road, unofficial marshals stopping traffic when needed. A leader of the group seemed to sense the lack of support, directing an explicitly worded chant at one point toward residents ensconced in their homes: “Wake up, mother f—ers, wake up.” Three days earlier at the downtown park where the statues met their demise, there was mostly support for the cause, but also confrontation. Four indigenous women posed jubilantly for photos on Lincoln’s empty podium. Eva Angus, one of the group, said the president may have fought a civil war to end slavery, but was a “horrible figure” who approved the infamous, mass execution in 1862 of 38 members of the Dakota tribe. “We’re very excited to see these gross people fall from their pedestals,” she said. Brandon Doblie, 22, a Trump flag draped over his shoulders like a cape, stood in counter-protest nearby, calling the statue assault “upsetting.” He conceded that just a couple of blocks away Portland goes about its business quite normally, but said the rest of the nation sees only chaos. “Actions like this are pushing people to the right,” argued Doblie. “It’s definitely played into the president’s hands … Groups like antifa have done an extreme disservice to the Democratic party.” As he watched Roosevelt’s removal, Todd Van Alst disagreed, predicting the president’s rhetoric about Portland would only invigorate his loyal base. The director of indigenous nations studies at Portland State University lives a few blocks away from the park — in protest-central, essentially — with his artist wife, Amy. They’ve had tear gas float up to the level of their apartment window, seen armed right-wing agitators stalking the neighborhood, and happily participated in demonstrations alongside neighbours and their children. The chief danger has been the response of officers, he contends, which is why they bought respirators, visors and helmets to shield against police actions. Otherwise, Van Alst says, it’s been life as usual. “The city functions,” he said. “I go shopping, I go walk the dog every day. The city is not on fire. The city is not burning down.”
1 h
National Post | Canadian News, Financial...
Sports fans are rediscovering the joy in trading cards — and these days it comes with a profit
For many, this childhood hobby has evolved to a competitive business as local sport card collectors race to clear store shelves, trying to gain an edge in a secondary market that is booming during the pandemic.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Hall of Fame class of 2020 recognizes contributions to motorsport
Fifteen people honoured for their work in the world of auto racing.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
5 things to know for Friday, October 23, 2020
Canada has more than 23,400 active cases of COVID-19, with nearly 2,800 new cases added in the last day.
1 h
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Thornhill shooting leaves man with serious injuries
The shooting appears to be targeted, according to York Regional police.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Police investigating Dartmouth homicide
Police were called to Primrose Street around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday for a weapons complaint that involved an injured man. When they arrived, they found the man had life-threatening injuries.  
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Coronavirus: Ontario hospitals, long-term care homes have little room for 2nd wave surge, inquiry hears
Hospitals and long-term care homes are nearly at capacity and won't be able to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic, an independent commission has heard.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Today’s coronavirus news: More Toronto hospitals declare COVID-19 outbreaks; Ontario hospitals, long-term care homes warn they’re nearly at capacity
Meanwhile, Germany’s disease control centre says the number of new daily coronavirus cases remains near a record high, as the pandemic continues to spread.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Tommy Schnurmacher: My parents survived the Holocaust — I can get through a pandemic
Sure, I miss the travel, but hey — no jet lag, and I only have to get dressed from the waist up for Zoom appointments.
2 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Rick Zamperin: Hard questions remain for CFL and OHL amid coronavirus pandemic
The same coronavirus-related roadblocks that prevented the CFL and OHL from completing their seasons this year still exist, and few solutions are being shared with fans.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Is Canada ready for a Montreal sketch comedy show? Absofreakinglutely
From The Kids in the Hall to the Baroness Von Sketch Show, Toronto has long ruled the sketch comedy scene on Canadian TV. A crew of Montrealers is hoping to change that.
2 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Montreal forecast: Feelings of summer, but it's October
High of 28 with humidity.
2 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Kerry Clare’s new novel: Men behaving badly, young women naively, and the dubious lies we tell ourselves
“Waiting for a Star to Fall” uses the age-old dynamic between a powerful man and younger woman to ask: why?
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
My depressed partner developed a drinking problem during the pandemic: Ask Ellie
Addiction self-help author Allen Carr introduced a new concept to readers, writes advice columnist Ellie, that you need to recognize you’re an ‘addict’ and that addiction perpetuates itself while cessation causes less doubt and fear than imagined
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Canada’s newspaper publishers call for a new regulatory regime to safeguard trusted journalism
News Media Canada, an organization representing the country’s newspapers including the Toronto Star, launched a campaign this week urging the federal government to bring in new regulations to halt what it calls “monopolistic” practices by Facebook and Google.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Reliable news is essential for democracy. What responsibility does Big Tech have to make sure it remains accessible?
It’s time to ask if the billions pulled in by Google and Facebook could do more than make shareholders rich, and instead help sustain the industries that are central to democracy, writes Navneet Alang.
3 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Painful fall from cliff leads Toronto musician to more energetic songs and a path for getting through COVID-19
Toronto’s Peter Katz has more energetic songs and a personal story for keynote shows after disastrous drop.
3 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
How big do weeds have to grow before the city cuts them down? Tree-sized growth adds an unwanted woodsy touch to Lake Shore Boulevard
Some are so big that they’re reaching up towards the underside of a Gardiner Expressway off-ramp.
3 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary round game in El Salvador
Substitute Anthony Novak's 83rd-minute goal proved to be the difference for the Canadian Premier League champions.
3 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Fact check: A look at claims by Trump, Biden at final U.S. presidential debate
A look at how some of the statements on the stage in Nashville, Tennessee, compared with the facts.
5 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...