Justice Department charges US man of evading Iran sanctions
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 16
By Emil Ilgar – Trend:
Justice Department has charged a US citizen with $1 billion conspiracy to evade Iran sanctions.
Kenneth Zong, 77, of Anchorage Alaska, was named as the sole defendant in the 47-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), unlawful provision of services to Iran, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering, the official website of the US Justice Department said Dec. 15.
The announcement was made by US Attorney Karen L. Loeffler for the District of Alaska.
The indictment alleges that at an undetermined time, Zong left Alaska for Seoul, South Korea, and operated businesses there. From January 2011 through at least April 2014, Zong and four co-conspirators – three Iranian nationals and one US citizen – allegedly conspired to evade the prohibitions of IEEPA and Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR) by engaging in false, fictitious and fraudulent transactions which were designed to unlawfully convert and remove Iranian owned funds, equivalent to approximately $1 billion, the report said.
“These funds were held in controlled Korean bank accounts and converted into more easily tradeable currencies, such as dollars and/or euros, by defrauding the Korean regulators into thinking the transactions were legitimate”.
Zong is charged with transferring those currencies to more than 10 countries around the world, including the US, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
Zong received payment for these acts from the Iranian nationals in an amount from $10 million to $17 million, said the Justice Department.