Facing mounting sanctions around the world, Iran’s government-owned shipping company has been criminally charged with adopting aliases to con New York-based banks into processing $60 million in banned transactions, prosecutors said Monday.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 15 associated companies and agents created an international web of corporate cloaks to send and receive payments through major New York-based banks, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said.
“IRISL and others have used alter egos to mask their misuse of the New York banking system, and nothing brings to clarity, in terms of dealing with sanctions, like the fact of a criminal indictment,” Vance said in a conference call with reporters. “Entities outside the United States need to understand that the American government and the state government will take this seriously.”
If the indictment aims to send a message, it’s unclear when the defendants will appear in court to answer the charges.