Turkish national sentenced for conspiracy to violate US sanctions on Iran

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A Turkish citizen was sentenced to 28 months in prison on conviction of conspiracy to violate US sanctions by exporting specialized marine equipment from the United States to Iran between 2013 to 2015, the United States Department of Justice said on Tuesday, the Ahval news website reported.

According to a statement released by Justice, Reşit Tavan conspired to smuggle Wisconsin boat engines and other marine equipment to the Iranian military.

On April 2, 2019 Tavan, a Turkish citizen, had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate US sanctions on Iran under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by using his Turkish-based company, the Ramor Group, to acquire a range of marine equipment that had been manufactured in Wisconsin by US companies, including high powered outboard engines, marine power generators and power boat propulsion equipment known as surface drives, on behalf of the Iran-based Qeshm Madkandalou Shipbuilding Cooperative (Madkanadalou).

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tavan, 43, was arrested in Romania in June 2017 on an international warrant stemming from his indictment in Milwaukee. He fought extradition but was brought to Wisconsin in late 2017, where he spent the last 20 months in the Waukesha County Jail.

Due to time spent in federal custody, Tavan will be given an expedited deportation to Turkey. According to same local journal, speaking through an interpreter on Thursday, Tavan told the judge he was sorry for his actions and that the biggest pain he’s suffered since his arrest is not seeing his children.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence near the bottom range of federal guidelines, which are 46 to 57 months. But US District Judge Pamela Pepper said that while his crime was serious, Tavan was not the mastermind but merely a procurement agent for others.

A co-defendant charged in the same indictment, Fulya Kalafatoglu Oguzturk, a Turkish citizen, was never arrested.

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