OAKLAND, Calif. — (KRON) – Bay Area resident and telecommunications consultant, Farhad Nafeiy, was charged and pleaded guilty to violating sanctions by exporting software upgrades for commercial-grade telecommunications servers to the Islamic Republic of Iran and for tax evasion, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday. 

Nafeiy, 70, an Alamos resident, was charged with and pleaded guilty to a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Under IEEPA, the President of the United States is granted authority to address unusual and extraordinary threats to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. Under that law, the President has issued orders prohibiting certain activities and transactions with Iran and the Government of Iran.

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued regulations, such as the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, implementing those orders. These sanctions on Iran generally prohibit, among other things, exporting or facilitating the export of U.S.-origin products to Iran and providing services to Iran.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Nafeiy obtained licenses or approvals from OFAC for advising non-Iranian telecommunications companies on doing business with Iran. The licenses did not authorize Nafeiy to provide any hardware, software, or technology directly to Iran. Nafeiy exceeded his OFAC licenses by directly providing software upgrades to telecommunications equipment in Iran. Nafeiy admitted in his plea agreement that he knew he exceeded these licenses when he did so. 

In his plea agreement, Nafeiy further admitted to $400,000 worth of software upgrades to Iran, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Nafeiy separately was charged with evading his federal income taxes, specifically not paying income tax on some of the proceeds of these sales.

Nafeiy will have a sentencing hearing on Jan. 29, 2024. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000,000 and possible restitution for the sanctions violations. For the tax evasion charges, he faces a maximum prison term of five years, a maximum fine of $250,000 and restitution of at least $79,124.