Houston shipper pleads guilty to attempted illegal export to Iran
LPPAI Ltd., a Houston partnership doing business as PA Inc., recently pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of attempted export without a Commerce Department license.
On Dec. 16, LPPAI will be sentenced to a criminal fine of $50,000 and corporate probation of three years.
LPPAI also entered into an administrative settlement agreement with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, requiring it to pay an administrative penalty of $50,000 and to be subject to a suspended order denying export privileges for a period of five years. LPPAI also agreed not to contest the administrative forfeiture of the commodities seized pursuant to this investigation, which were valued at more than $33,000.
According to the Justice Department, in early 2004 U.K.-based Proclad International Pipelines requested a bid from PA Inc. for the sale of specialty alloy pipes. The purchase order was valued at $147,487. Because PA Inc. did not have the total amount of the order in stock, the parties agreed that PA Inc. would ship the pipes as they became available. The first shipment was for $33,653 of specialty alloy pipes.
PA Inc. ignored the requirements for a Commerce Department export license and on Feb. 11, 2004 attempted to ship the pipes through air freight forwarder NNR Cargo. The freight forwarder declined the shipment, realizing it required an export license.
Nearly a week later, PA Inc, attempted to move the shipment through Proclad’s forwarder DFDS Transport. On Feb. 18, 2004, Commerce Department agents detained the shipment at DFDS, thereby preventing the shipment, the Justice Department said.