Escambia Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Sell Equipment To Iran

September 19, 2019

An Escambia County man has pleaded guilty to conspiring with foreign nationals to ship technology to Iran.

James P. Meharg, 59, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to sell and export power generating equipment to a recipient in Iran as well as making false statements on export documents and international money laundering. Meharg, CEO and president of Turbine Resources International, LLC, located in Pensacola, conspired with citizens of the United Kingdom and Iran to export a large turbine and parts from the United States to an Iranian recipient, in violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations as well as federal criminal law.

According to the indictment, Meharg, a citizen of the United States, conspired from October 1, 2017, to June 12, 2019, to violate the embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the United States, for delivery to an end user in Iran. On April 25, 2018, the indictment alleges, Meharg sent an invoice for $500,000 to a conspirator in the United Kingdom and received two partial payments of $124,950 each, on May 7 and May 24, 2018, at least one of which was routed through a company in Dubai.

Meharg, a local U.S. citizen, admitted that he conspired from October 1, 2017, to June 12, 2019, to violate the Iranian embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the United States, for delivery to an end user in Iran. Evidence revealed that on April 25, 2018, Meharg sent an invoice for $500,000 to a conspirator in the United Kingdom and received two partial payments of $124,950 each, on May 7 and May 24, 2018, which were routed through a company in the United Arab Emirates. In total, Meharg received approximately $250,000 in funds laundered through foreign accounts as payment for having the turbine sent to Iran. Law enforcement authorities, however, were able to seize the turbine before its transatlantic journey to the end user in Iran. That end user, a conspirator in Iran, is linked to an Iranian oil, gas, and petrochemical company. Meharg also admitted to falsifying documents used to export items from the Pensacola area.

“Exporting technology to Iran is prohibited for a very good reason, and this defendant chose to put his own self-interest above the national security needs of the United States of America,” Keefe said. “This case should send a clear signal that the United States cannot and will not look the other way when one of its citizens endangers the safety of our nation and its people.”

Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg, who is a National Security Cyber Specialist, is prosecuting the case following a joint investigation by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Meharg faces up to five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy charges related to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, up to 5 years’ imprisonment for falsifying export documents, and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for international money laundering. A sentencing date has been set for December 12 at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.

Comments

5 Responses to “Escambia Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Sell Equipment To Iran”

  1. Pat on September 21st, 2019 3:15 pm

    A Mars 90S is an industrial gas turbine used to either generate electricity, driving a pump for crude oil or a gas compressor for natural gas.

    This guy was just a money hungry moron!

  2. patti on September 20th, 2019 6:04 pm

    This man is living in a country that has more freedom than any other. He need GOD in his life! If he’s sentenced to all those years, he’ll be an old old man before he”s released, then what’s he going to do. Does he have a family, can you imagine how they must feel? Sad, sad and just PLAIN STUPID!!

  3. Anon on September 20th, 2019 2:38 am

    @paul
    I don’t think a turbine is a weapon of mass destruction…

  4. Matchbox on September 20th, 2019 2:11 am

    Should have been charged with treason…send him to Iran so he can enjoy one of the prisons there…he doesn’t even deserve an American jail.

  5. paul on September 19th, 2019 8:18 pm

    Sell out American security over greed. Iran is a terrorist nation, they are hell bent on the destruction of free society. They will continue to pursue acquiring nuclear weapons regardless of any sanctions imposed. These radical nations need to be crushed, because diplomacy is useless.. They will continue to kill as many Americans as they can. As far as Meharg is concerned let him die in prison he is a traitor





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