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Settlement in Iran Sanctions Clark Truck Spare Parts Case

Last week a former official of the Clark Material Handling Company (CMHC) has signed a Settlement Agreement with the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) involving the illegal export of truck spare parts to Iran.  BIS alleges that the former CMHC Vice President of Global Parts Marketing, Robert Quinn, made a false statement to an Office of Export Enforcement Special Agent during the course of an investigation.

CMHC is a Kentucky-based manufacturer of forklifts that has been in existence since 1917.  According to the company website, they manufacture forklifts or trucks “ranging from 1,500 to 18,000 pound capacities, LPG, gasoline, dual fuel, diesel, narrow-aisle stackers, electric riders and powered hand trucks.”   In 2003, the Young An Hat Company of South Korea purchased CMHC.

According to the government, Quinn told the government during the course of an investigation that he was unaware of any shipments of CMHC parts to a company in UAE that were subsequently shipped to Iran.  Quinn also represented that he had not coordinated any shipments of CMHC items to Iran. These statements were false and it seems that he arranged to fill several orders that he knew had been placed by an Iranian company through the UAE.

Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1706, and the Iranian Transaction Regulations (“ITR”), 50 C.F.R. Part 560, all exports to Iran of U.S.-origin commodities require an export license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the Department of the Treasury.  It is also unlawful to ship U.S. origin products to a third country and then re-export them to Iran without the necessary authorization from OFAC.

This case dates to 2006 when a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Quinn, another CMHC official, and an Iranian national for violating the United States embargo on trade with Iran.  The indictment against these officials alleged that they had engaged in a conspiracy to violate the Iran embargo.  Quinn was initially indicted on January 6, 2005, following his arrest on December 28, 2005, after returning to the United States from South Korea.

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