The Justice Department has charged an unidentified Alabama man with violating U.S. sanctions by allegedly trying to sell oil and gas equipment in Iran, a statement from the department says.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Ray Hunt, who is 69 and from Madison County, with 15 counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., sanctions violations, smuggling goods, and submitting false or misleading export information. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million (USD).
Hunt is a citizen of Iran, according to the indictment. He also goes by Abdolrahman Hantoosh, Rahman Hantoosh, and Rahman Natoosh.
It’s alleged that Hunt planned to ship goods of U.S. origin from his Alabama-based company, Vega Tools LLC, to Iranian customers as early as November 2017. Control valves, oil tubing, and other items of U.S. origin would be shipped from Alabama through Turkey and the United Arab Emirates in order to contravene sanctions against Iran.
On Tuesday, he made an initial court appearance.
Former President Bill Clinton signed an executive order in 1995 that prohibited certain transactions related to Iranian petroleum resources. Each president since Bill Clinton has extended the order, according to the statement from the indictment.