MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Madison County man was federally indicted with charges related to an illegal scheme to export U.S.-origin goods, like oil industry products, to Iran.
69-year-old Ray Hunt faces 15 counts in the indictment, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., sanctions violations, smuggling goods from the U.S. and submitting false or misleading export information.
The indictment says that since at least November 2017, Hunt conspired to export American-originated parts used in the oil industry (control valves, oil tubing, etc.) through his company, Vega Tools, LLC to customers in Iran.
Hunt is accused of transshipping the items to Iran through Turkey and the UAE to avoid U.S. sanctions.
Federal officials say Hunt was arrested and made his initial court appearance on Tuesday, saying that if he is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine for violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.
Along with that, Hunt faces up to five years for the conspiracy charge, 10 years for the smuggling offense and up to five years for the false information offense. It will be up to a federal district court judge to determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
The announcement made on Tuesday reiterates that an indictment is merely an allegation, saying that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.