Diaz Reus Blunts Criminal Sentence for Taiwanese Businessman’s OFAC Violation

by admin on August 31, 2010

Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP Successfully Blunts Criminal Sentence For Taiwanese Businessman’s OFAC Violation

(U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida – Case Number 10-20246-CR-Jordan)

On Friday, August 27, Taiwanese businessman Yi-Lan “Kevin” Chen was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan, successfully avoiding a severe sentence for his role in the sale of “dual purpose” electronics to Iran in violation of U.S. laws and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.

Chen, 40, had faced up to 20 years on each of three charges after he was arrested in February in Guam for his involvement in a shipment to Iran of some 8,500 glass-to-metal seals and 120 military-grade connectors. U.S. Commerce Department investigators said Chen had arranged at least 30 banned shipments to Iran since 2007, falsely telling U.S.-based suppliers that the goods were destined for Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Chen’s attorney, Robert Targ of Diaz Reus & Targ, said: “Kevin allowed himself to be drawn into this scheme that ran counter to his otherwise exemplary life as a businessman.”

Judge Jordan agreed. “I don’t believe any longer sentence is necessary to protect society from criminal conduct in the future.”

Michael Diaz Jr., Managing Partner of the Miami-based, international law firm added: “We are both relieved and pleased that our hard work and efforts paid off and persuaded the District Court Judge and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that this was an isolated event driven largely by a fundamental misunderstanding by Chen, an Asian businessman engaged in international trade with Iran without knowing the real consequences of violating the trade embargo and U.S. OFAC regulations.”

“Although Mr. Chen’s case presents a unique set of circumstances, there are important lessons to be learned here. Businesses must be sensitive to the complex web of regulations governing international trade,” according to Mr. Diaz.

“Today, there are numerous criminal and civil penalties that can be assessed against both individual and organizational defendants for violating U.S. laws that have far-reaching effect. The need for a comprehensive compliance program that takes these complexities into account is critical.”

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