Judge sentences US citizen to jail for violating sanctions

August 17, 2010 07:33

NEW YORK — A man convicted in New York of violating the Iran trade embargo after his family sent him millions of dollars has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Mahmoud Reza Banki was sentenced Monday by Judge John Keenan. He had faced up to 25 years in prison.

The 34-year-old Banki was convicted in June of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and violating an embargo that prohibits US citizens from supplying goods, services or technology to Iran or its government.

Banki was born in Tehran and is a US citizen. He holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

His lawyers had said he had $3.4 million deposited into his bank accounts by family members and was unaware an informal banking system let an equal amount of money move into Iran.

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