Feds: N. Charleston company president illegally exported goods to Iran

Atlanta, GA (WCSC) - The president of a North Charleston synthetic motor oil company who officials say has been illegally exporting goods to Iran was arrested over the weekend.

Federal agents arrested Markos Baghdasarian, the president of Delfin Group USA, in Atlanta on Saturday as he was boarding an international flight to the United Arab Emirates . He is charged with exporting goods to Iran without the required U.S. Department of Treasury licenses, according to court documents.

A report shows that Baghdasarian shipped $850,000 worth of aviation engine oils and polymer to customers in Iran, including Pars Oil, a company owned by the Iranian government.

Court documents show that Baghdasarian hid these transactions, which occurred between June 13, 2010 and October 12, 2011, by falsifying official documents.

This case was the product of an extensive investigation by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

Delfin Group USA issued this statement on Tuesday:

Delfin Group USA has been and continues to be fully cooperative with the United States in its ongoing investigation. 

Dr. Markos Baghdasarian, the former President of Delfin Group USA, was placed on administrative leave by the company on Monday, May 14, 2012.  Due to the confidential nature of the government's investigation, Delfin Group USA will have no further comment on the matter at this time. 

John Gordon has been appointed to serve as President of Delfin Group USA. We ask that any inquiries be directed to Delfin Group USA's outside Counsel, Joe D. Whitley.

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