Alaska man charged with evad­ing sanc­tions on Iran

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -


An Alaska man has been charged with evad­ing US sanc­tions on Iran and money laun­der­ing, the US Jus­tice De­part­ment said on Thurs­day.

Ken­neth Zong, 77, of An­chor­age, and one Amer­i­can and three Ira­nian co-con­spir­a­tors en­gaged in fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions in­tended to un­law­fully con­vert and re­move Ira­ni­anowned funds worth ap­prox­i­mately $1 bil­lion from South Korean banks, the de­part­ment said in a state­ment.

Zong was named as the sole de­fen­dant in a 47-count in­dict­ment charg­ing him with con­spir­acy to vi­o­late the In­ter­na­tional Emer­gency Eco­nomic Pow­ers Act, Ira­nian Trans­ac­tions and Sanc­tions Reg­u­la­tions, and money laun­der­ing. A fed­eral pub­lic de­fender rep­re­sent­ing Zong, Rich Curt­ner, said he did not have an im­me­di­ate com­ment be­cause he had not yet met with Zong.

For his work, his Ira­nian as­so­ciates paid Zong be­tween $10 mil­lion to $17 mil­lion, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said. “In fur­ther­ance of the scheme,” pros­e­cu­tors said, Zong trans­ferred $10 mil­lion from South Korea to a co­con­spir­a­tor in An­chor­age who then bought real es­tate, cars, and an in­ter­est in a yacht. Zong is also charged with 43 counts of money laun­der­ing, and one count of money laun­der­ing con­spir­acy, in con­nec­tion with his $10 mil­lion fee.

If con­victed on one money laun­der­ing charge, Zong faces as long as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said. An ar­raign­ment date had not yet been set, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said. The US em­bargo against Iran pro­hibits, with lim­ited ex­cep­tions, the ex­port of prod­ucts and ser­vices to Iran, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said. — Reuters

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