Iranian company, executives charged with US sanctions violation

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – American prosecutors said that the US has charged an Iranian online financial services company and two of its senior executives with violating US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Seyed Sajjad Shahidian, Vahid Vali and the company, Payment24, were criminally charged with conspiracy to commit offenses against the US, money laundering, identity theft and wire fraud, according to an indictment unsealed Monday in federal court in Minnesota, Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Shahidian, the company’s 33-year-old founder and chief executive, was arrested and extradited from the United Kingdom and was arraigned Monday, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty, according to court documents. A public defender representing him didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Vali, 33, the company’s chief operating officer, is at large, according to prosecutors. Efforts to find verified contact information for Mr. Vali were unsuccessful. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors alleged that Payment24, which had about 40 employees with offices in Iran, primarily helped Iranian citizens circumvent US sanctions to conduct transactions with US-based businesses from about 2009 to November 2018, such as purchasing computer software, software licenses and computer servers.

The US has broad sanctions on Iran, prohibiting exports of US goods, technology or services to Iran.

HJ/MNA4929557

News Code 158878

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