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Federal jury acquits Utah man of Iran trade embargo charges

May 21, 2000, PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A federal jury has acquitted a Utah man of charges that he tried to break the Clinton administration trade embargo with Iran by helping his brother export computer equipment.

Hamid Janversan had been indicted on conspiracy and banking charges last July involving Microtek International Development Systems.

The suburban Hillsboro company makes devices that mimic the operation of computer chips, but at slower speeds, so operators can troubleshoot problems.

The company's president, Joe-Pin Ouyang, has pleaded guilty for his role and faces several months in prison and a fine at his sentencing in June.

Prosecutors said Ouyang began negotiations with a defense contractor in Tehran, Iran , in 1997, with help from Hamid Janversan's brother, Amir Janversan.

More than $100,000 for the computer emulators was wired from Iran through Switzerland and Italy to a Utah bank account the Janversans shared.

Hamid Janversan, who owns an auto body shop in Salt Lake City, withdrew the money and helped his brother communicate with Ouyang.

A defense attorney said it amounted to simple favors by one brother for another.

"He had no clue that anything he did was in violation of the embargo," said Susan E. Reese, a lawyer representing Hamid Janversan.

Reese said prosecutors were after his brother, "and they couldn't get to him, so they used my client as a scapegoat."

Amir Janversan is a fugitive and believed to still be in Iran .


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