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Feds Accuse President of New York-Based Makeup Company of Violating Iran Sanctions

  • The president of a Long Island-based company is facing charges for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran by shipping more than $350,000 worth of cosmetics, according to federal prosecutors.
  • Michael Rose, 50 and from Ridgefield, Connecticut, is facing charges of conspiring to violate International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty; conspiring to launder money, which also carries a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty; and conspiring to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
  • The alleged scheme took place between 2015 and 2018, according to prosecutors.

The president of a Long Island-based makeup company is facing charges for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran by shipping more than $350,000 worth of cosmetics, according to federal prosecutors.

Michael Rose, 50 and from Ridgefield, Connecticut, is facing charges of conspiring to violate International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty; conspiring to launder money, which also carries a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty; and conspiring to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Attorney information was not immediately known.

In a joint statement, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the FBI William F. Sweeney Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement (DOC-OEE) Jonathan Carson announced that Rose was arrested Tuesday and will be presented later in the day in Manhattan federal court.

“As alleged, Michael Rose participated in a years-long scheme to violate our sanctions by surreptitiously exporting cosmetics to Iran via front company intermediaries in the Middle East,” Strauss said in a statement.

The unsealed indictment identified Rose and president of a Long Island-based cosmetics manufacturer and supplier, who managed, among other duties, the company’s operations and international sales.

Allegedly, between 2015 and 2018, Rose participated in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran by allowing the company to export from the United States more than $350,000 worth of makeup to an importer in Iran.

On June 2015, Rose signed a contract with the importer establishing that the importer’s Iran-based company would be the exclusive distributor for the cosmetic company’s products in Iran, according to the indictment. The importer then used front companies based outside of Iran to make payments to the Long Island-based company and to arrange for the transshipment of the cosmetic goods to Iran via the United Arab Emirates. 

According to the indictment, Rose also filed false and misleading information on United States Department of Commerce Shipper’s Export Declaration forms in connection with the illegal shipments.  The forms falsely represented that the “ultimate consignee” for the goods was in the United Arab Emirates, not Iran, and also falsely lowered the purchase price for the goods purchased by the importer in Iran in order to evade customs payments.

“Whatever his motivation – greed or something more sinister – we allege Mr. Rose intentionally disguised his products’ ultimate destination and lied about those products’ prices to limit his customs liability,” Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. It’s a federal crime to violate sanctions the United States put in place to protect our national interests from Iran and other designated nation states.  Mr. Rose may have thought the rules didn’t apply to him, but, if he did, today’s action demonstrates otherwise.”

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