January 13, 2014ROSWELL, Ga. Mark Mason Alexander, aka Musa Mahmood Ahmed, 53, of Roswell, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Jan. 6, for conspiring to send machines to Iran in violation of the United States trade embargo.
Alexander was found guilty of conspiring with two Iranian businessmen to sell Hydrajet water-jet cutting systems to customers in Iran between October 2006 and June 2008. Hydrajet Technology, located in Dalton, Ga., manufactured the water-jet cutting systems, which were used for the precision cutting of materials such as aluminum, glass, granite and steel. These machines were distributed to customers in the Middle East through Hydrajet Mena, another company that Alexander partly owned, which was located in the United Arab Emirates and for which Alexander worked as the chief executive officer.
In 2007, as part of the conspiracy, Alexander negotiated the sale of two water-jet cutting systems to companies located in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In July 2007, after Alexander negotiated the terms of these sales and before the machines were shipped to Iran, the Department of Commerce warned Alexander of the trade restrictions with Iran.
He concealed the true destination of these machines by causing them to be trans-shipped to Iran via Alexander's company in the United Arab Emirates. Alexander additionally instructed Hydrajet Mena employees to travel to Iran to install the machines and to conduct software training for the Iranians who would operate them.
"The United States will continue to vigorously pursue and bring to justice those who evade our economic sanctions," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "The trade embargo against the Islamic Republic of Iran is not limited to those who specifically seek to supply the country with military items or with items for use in its nuclear weapon proliferation program. Rather, businesses and individuals who engage in commercial transactions with businesses and individuals in the Islamic Republic of Iran are cautioned that they are still subject to prosecution under existing sanctions."