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DOJ: Alabama man indicted on Iran sanctions violations

An Alabama man has been indicted on 15 counts relating to an illegal business scheme, which includes violating U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Madison County resident Ray Hunt, 69, allegedly violated federal offenses in an illegal operation to export American-made goods to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

In a news release, the U.S. Department of Justice said the indictment charges Hunt with conspiracy to defraud the United States, sanctions violations, smuggling goods from the United States and submitting false or misleading export information.

Hunt conspired to export U.S.-origin parts used in the oil and gas industry through his Alabama-based company, Vega Tools LLC, to customers in Iran, according to the indictment.

In an attempt to evade U.S. sanctions, the defendant allegedly transshipped the goods to Iran through Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Hunt made his initial appearance in court Tuesday, according to the DOJ. If convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine for violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Additionally, Hunt faces up to five years for the conspiracy charge, 10 years for the smuggling offense and a maximum of five years for the false information offense. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, according to DOJ.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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