U.S. authorities charged the head of an international metals company with exporting to Iran a potentially dangerous metallic powder used for space and nuclear activities, including missile production.
The U.S. Justice Department charges on March 1 against Erdal Kuyumcu, 44, chief executive of Global Metallurgy LLC, carry up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Kuyumcu exported cobalt-nickel metallic powder to Iran twice, shipping it first through an intermediary in Turkey to hide its final destination, the department said.
The powder is used as a thermal spray to protect surfaces against corrosion at high temperatures. Kuyumcu allegedly attempted to send more than a thousand pounds of the substance in total.
Under U.S. law, exporting such a powder to Iran is illegal without a license from the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
"Those who seek to evade the scrutiny of the regulatory agencies by operating in the shadows present a danger to our national security and our allies abroad," said U.S. Attorney Robert Capers of the Eastern District of New York.