SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An Elk Grove resident is facing 20 years in federal prison after being indicted on charges of violating the US trade embargo with Iran.

In an indictment unsealed on Thursday, 56-year-old Elk Grove resident Dariush Niknia and 74-year-old Las Vegas resident Richard Lant allegedly conspired to sell and supply 500 Russian-made tank helmets to Iran.

Prosecutors say Niknia contacted Lant, the owner of a company that sold Russian items, to try and buy the helmets and have them shipped to Tehran back in 2015. Initially, prosecutors say two sample helmets were bought by Niknia and shipped from Russia to Iran. Then, after Niknia’s Iranian contact approved of the helmets, prosecutors say the Elk Grove man tried to buy 50 more to be shipped.

The alleged transactions stand in violation of the US trade embargo on Iran. Only in very limited exceptions can US citizens do business with Iran, prosecutors say.

Niknia and Lant have been indicted on three counts related to violating the trade embargo. Both face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.



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