Iranian company indicted in NY for evading sanctions

The IRISL used false companies to dupe NY-based banks into processing wire payments totaling more than $60 million.

Iranian ballistic missile_311 reuters (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
Iranian ballistic missile_311 reuters
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
NEW YORK - Prosecutors in New York on Monday indicted an Iranian shipping company for setting up shell companies so that it could evade sanctions and move millions of dollars through the US financial system.
The Manhattan district attorney's office said the state-sponsored Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, known as IRISL, used bogus companies to dupe New York-based banks into processing wire payments totaling more than $60 million.
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The nine banks the Iranian company used to funnel funds include Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, JP Morgan Chase & Co., the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Vance said none of the banks is accused of any wrongdoing.
Also on Monday, the US Treasury said it had imposed sanctions on many of the same defendants, who it said have ties to IRISL.

The shipping company is Iran's main national carrier and has been "the carrier of choice" for weapon-procurement activities, according to Adam Kaufmann of the district attorney's office. The company engaged in "persistent efforts to deceive and misrepresent its activities in order to evade international and US sanctions," Kaufmann said.
Vance acknowledged that the case was not certain to be prosecuted in New York. "Will anyone ever face judgment in New York for these charges and this indictment?" he asked. "Possibly."
Still, he said, the district attorney has "a responsibility ... to protect our banking community in New York state."