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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Crime & Courts

Tampa man sentenced in Iran computer conspiracy


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A Tampa man was sentenced to five years’ probation for his role in a mail fraud conspiracy to help computer equipment be shipped to Iran in violation of a U.S. embargo, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said.

Randy Dale Barber, 42, was also ordered Barber to forfeit $413,106, and to pay $37,921.20 restitution to Hitachi Data System. Barber pleaded guilty Feb. 28.

Co-conspirator Michael J. Dragoni, 48, of Riverview was sentenced July 10 to five years of probation, with eight months of home detention, Bentley said. Two companies used by Dragoni, Fortis Data Systems, LLC and Greencloud LLC, were also sentenced to five years of probation. The three were ordered to forfeit $498,706 and to pay $37,921.20 restitution to Hitachi Data. Dragoni, FDS and Greencloud pleaded guilty April 24, Bentley said.

According to plea agreements, from about August 2009 through at least August 2011, Dragoni and Barber, through FDS and Greencloud, made materially false statements to Hitachi Data in order to purchase computer equipment for resale to Mohammad Reza Hajian, who in turn resold the equipment to Mahmood Akbari, and UAE company Patco Group, Ltd.

By late 2009, Dragoni, Barber and Hajian knew that Hitachi Data refused to sell computer equipment to Hajian because the company believed the equipment was being diverted to unauthorized end users, the documents said.

To purchase the computer equipment, Dragoni and Barber made false statements regarding the purchaser, end user, and location of installation of the equipment that they were purchasing and used front companies to make equipment purchases, the documents said.

In October 2012, Haijan, a former city of Tampa engineer, was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting resold computer hardware and software from his home in Tampa to Iran. He resold the items through the United Arab Emirates to hide his violation of the U.S. embargo with Iran, court documents said.

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