- One Prisoner Hanged in Karaj (West of Tehran)
- Student activist Arash Mohammadi is on hunger strike
- Weekly report on Human Right Violation in Iran
- Vahid Asghari refused to appear in the court
- Akbar Amini the political activist arrested
- Behnam Ibrahimzadeh summoned to return prison
- Tehran regime will not change its way
- Rohani once approved of hiding Iran atomic work
- Israel won't accept less than total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment
- Rowhani vows 'moderation,' but won't halt nuclear program
- Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust
- Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction
- Iran’s women discriminated against by law
- Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran
- Iranian women are second-class citizens
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Report: Iran sending 4,000 troops to aid Assad
- Syria: North Korean military 'advising Assad regime'
- Iran cuts Hamas’ funding for backing Syrian opposition
- Neighbors in Lebanese city fight Syrian proxy war
- Hezbollah takes Syria risk at Iran's behest: experts
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
Thursday 08 March 2012
PORTLAND (AP) — The founder of a Portland charity that sent millions of dollars to help children in Iran has been sentenced to a year of home detention for violating the U.S. trade embargo.
Mehrdad Yasrebi had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted violating the embargo by sending money to Iran and covering up illegal cash transfers, The Oregonian reported.
“Your honor,” he said Tuesday in court. “I have broken the law. I accept complete responsibility for what I did, and I stand here ready to accept whatever sentence you decide is appropriate.”
Child Foundation was founded in 1994 and raised money by finding sponsors for needy children. By 2008, it had sent nearly $11 million to Iran, prosecutors alleged, laundering much of it through a Swiss bank account.
The government began looking into the charity after the 9/11 attacks. A federal prosecutor, Charles Gorder Jr., said in court that at least $100,000 had gone to an Iranian cleric described in a sentencing memo as “a vocal Hezbollah supporter.”
But Yasrebi’s lawyer and the judge in the case, Garr King, said the government hadn’t produced evidence that Yasrebi or the charity were involved in funding terrorism.
“At the outset, agents were driven by concerns that Dr. Yasrebi and (the charity) were funneling money into Iran to support terrorism,” David Angeli, Yasrebi’s lawyer, wrote in a pre-sentence memo. He said the FBI’s eight-year investigation included wiretaps, foreign travel and a late-night “sneak and peek” inside the charity.
Yasrebi, 54, is an engineer and a permanent resident alien in the U.S. He resigned from the charity in 2010 and lost his job at Precision Castparts last year.
He said he never enriched himself with the charity’s money, but acknowledged misleading those around him to get money to children in Iran.
“I jeopardized the foundation and its mission, and caused a lot of pain and difficulty for many innocent people,” he said.
In addition to the detention, Yasrebi was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and serve five years of probation. The Child Foundation was also fined $50,000.