On August 9, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald, Assistant Director John Brown of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and Special Agent in Charge Jill Sanborn of the FBI Minneapolis Division announced the guilty plea of Negar Ghodskani, 40, for her participation in a conspiracy to illegally export controlled technology from the United States to Iran. Ghodskani, who was indicted on Dec. 8, 2015, arrested in Australia in 2017, and made her first appearance in District Court on July 22, 2019, entered her guilty plea today before Judge Joan N. Ericksen in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea, from 2008 until late 2011, Ghodskani was a Tehran-based employee of Fanavar Moj Khavar (Fana Moj), a company located in Tehran, Iran. In 2009, Ghodskani, along with co-defendant Alireza Jalali and others, established Green Wave Telecommunication, Sdn Bhn, (Green Wave), a company located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that operated as a front for Fana Moj. As part of the conspiracy, Ghodskani falsely represented herself as an employee of Green Wave to U.S. companies in order to acquire export-controlled technology from the United States. To accomplish these acquisitions, Ghodskani, Jalali and others concealed the ultimate destination and end users of the exported technology.
As part of the conspiracy, Ghodskani contacted producers and distributors of the sought-after technology, solicited purchase agreements, and negotiated the purchase and delivery of the goods with the U.S. seller. When received by Green Wave in Malaysia, the goods were repackaged and unlawfully exported from Malaysia to Fana Moj in Tehran, Iran. In 2017, Fana Moj was designated by the United States Department of the Treasury as a Specially Designated National for providing financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Co-defendant Jalali pled guilty in November 2017 and was sentenced in March 2018.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats and Trial Attorney David Recker of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.