California man charged with conspiracy to illegally send computers to Iran
SANTA ANA, California – A Dana Point man has been charged in a recently unsealed indictment with participating in a conspiracy to procure and illegally ship export-controlled computer servers to Iran.
Johnny Paul Tourino, 64, was named in a 23-count grand jury indictment filed on March 7 and unsealed by a federal judge on August 17. Federal prosecutors today learned that the case had been unsealed.
The indictment accuses Tourino and Spectra Equipment, Inc., which Tourino owned and operated, with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which controls and restricts the export of certain goods from the United States to foreign nations. Tourino and Spectra are also charged with conspiracy, smuggling goods out of the United States and money laundering.
According to the indictment, from January 2014 through July 2017, Tourino, Spectra, and at least two others purchased and sent computer servers to Iran without obtaining licenses from the U.S. government that are required under IEEPA. The computer servers were dual-use commercial goods, meaning they had both a commercial application and a military or strategic one. The computers were controlled by the Commerce Control List for anti-terrorism and national security reasons.
Tourino allegedly falsely told the manufacturer that the computer servers were intended for Kuwait and Slovenia, when he knew they were intended for Bank Mellat, an Iranian financial institution. On one occasion, according to the indictment, Tourino forwarded an email to the manufacturer after removing references to “Tehran” and “Iran.”
Tourino was arrested in this case on February 7 and was released on bond. Following the indictment, he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty on March 12. A trial is currently scheduled for March 5, 2019.
If convicted of the 23 charges in the indictment, Tourino would face up to a statutory maximum sentence of 430 years in prison, and Spectra would face fines that could total as much as $13.25 million.
Although I am unhappy he was released on bond, WOW, there is so much going on with regards to shutting down various types of National Security related threats like this. I just wrote about two men that were charged with collecting information on U.S. citizens for the Iranian Government. And another individual who was also just sentenced for sending restricted goods and technology to Iran.
Very interesting, remember, Jeff Sessions has tens of thousands of unsealed indictments just waiting to be released on these criminals. Who knows, maybe Hillary and Obama’s named are somewhere in there? I am very keen to see where this is going and how it plays out. #QANON