LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas man has been indicted on federal charges after allegedly conspiring to violate the United States' embargo on Iran and engaging in prohibited trade-related transactions with Iran, according to the U.S. attorney's office in California.
A three-count indictment by a federal grand jury was unsealed today charging Richard Lant, 74, of Las Vegas and Dariush Niknia, 56, of Elk Grove, California.
Between May and October 2015, Lant and Niknia conspired to unlawfully sell and supply 500 Russian-made tank helmets to Niknia’s contact in Tehran, Iran, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that in May 2015, Niknia contacted Lant, who operated R&L Ltd., a company that sold Russian items, and requested to purchase 500 tank helmets and have them shipped to Tehran.
Niknia initially paid R&L to purchase two sample tank helmets and have them sent from Russia to Iran, the attorney general's office said. Once Ninkia’s customer approved the second sample helmet, Niknia paid Lant more money in an attempt to purchase another 50 helmets for shipment to Iran.
The embargo on Iran, enforced through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, prohibits the export, sale and supply of goods to Iran, and prohibits engaging in any transaction or dealing related to the sale or supply of goods to Iran by anyone in the U.S., with very limited exceptions, the U.S. attorney's office said.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If convicted, Lant and Niknia face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.