The United States has imprisoned the CEO of a money services company that helped Iranian nationals conduct financial transactions in violation of US sanctions.
Iranian millionaire Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, 33, pleaded guilty in June to just one count of conspiracy to defraud and dedicate offenses from the United States. On Thursday, a district court docket in Minneapolis sentenced Shahidian to 23 months in jail.
Shahidian launched and ran Payment24.ir, an on the net platform that assisted Iranian nationals circumvent US sanctions prohibiting economic transactions with companies dependent in the United States. End users of the platform paid out a charge to get about American sanctions so they could order computer system program, computer software licenses, and laptop or computer servers from US firms.
Payment24 had places of work in Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan, Iran, and employed about 40 people. To Iranian consumers seeking to make on the internet buys from United States-based mostly companies, the organization sold a bundle that included a PayPal account, a fraudulent “ID card and address receipt,” a distant IP tackle from the United Arab Emirates, and a Visa reward card.
Clientele were encouraged by Payment24 on how to build accounts with a overseas identification and had been instructed “under no circumstances endeavor logging into a foreign site with an Iranian IP address.”
To achieve the transactions, Shahidian obtained payment-processing accounts from United States-centered companies like PayPal using fraudulent passports and other faux residency documentation to make it surface as although his clientele resided exterior of Iran. Shahidian admitted to opening hundreds of PayPal accounts on behalf of his resident Iranian consumers and to unlawfully bringing millions of US pounds into the economic system of Iran.
Shahidian was arrested in London, British isles, in November 2018 following getting observed going to a range of tourist spots, like the London Eye and Madame Tussauds. He was extradited to the US in Might 2020.
The UK’s National Criminal offense Agency cybercrime investigators mentioned that they feel Payment24 experienced earlier been employed “by intercontinental cyber-criminals looking for to target the United kingdom.”
“In Iran, based on his illegal business enterprise, Mr. Shahidian experienced been a substantial-profile executive and a millionaire,” explained US Legal professional Erica MacDonald. “He is now a convicted felon who has shed anything.”
Some components of this posting are sourced from: