An Irish company has been charged with procuring aircraft parts and exporting them to Iran, the U.S Justice Department said yesterday.
The Justice Department alleges that Mac Aviation Limited, a Sligo-based company, bought aircraft components from American companies, before shipping them to other countries, and then on to Iran.
Under U.S law, American companies are forbidden from trading with Iranian companies that have ties to its military.
The defendants named in the indictment are: Tom McGuinn, 72, the owner, director and principal officer with Mac Avation; his son, Sean McGuinn, 40, the sales director, and Sean Byrne, the commercial manager.
They were charged with 19 counts of violating U.S law, including making false statements and faking documents. If convicted, they face between five and 20 years in prison.
The Justice Department says that as early as August 2005, Mac Avation took purchase orders from Iranian companies who were looking for U.S. origin aircraft engines and parts. The company allegedly ordered these parts from U.S companies, and lied to them about where the components would end up. These parts were then exported to third countries such as Malaysia, before being shipped on to Iran.
One of the shipments involved the purchase of helicopter parts worth $4.27 million from the Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indiana. Prosecutors allege that Mac Avation told Rolls-Royce that they were not procuring the parts for any military organization of government.
However, the Justice Department says that these parts were intended for an Iranian company controlled by Iran’s Ministry for Defense.
The charges were made in July 2008, but were unsealed in U.S federal court March 24.
Efforts to contact Mac Avation at its Sligo office were unsuccessful.
IrishCentral understands that the Irish Department of Justice hasn't yet received an extradition request for the three defendants from the U.S Department of Justice.
This comes a week after an Iranian man was charged in a San Francisco court with trying to procure military parts for Iran.
Businessman Hossein Ali Khoshnevisrad, 55, was charged with trying to ship helicopter engines and military-grade surveillance cameras to Iran.
He faces up to 65 years in prison.