USA v. Hovan, Nicholas, et al.
New York, NY
Four Texans and one New Yorker were arrested and each charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA"). From July 2019 to February 2020, defendants Nicholas Hovan, James Fuchs, Robert Thwaites, and Daniel Ray Lane conspired in Philadelphia and elsewhere to arrange for the purchase of oil from the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of United States economic sanctions imposed on Iran, for sale to a refinery in China represented by defendant Zhenyu Wang, a/k/a "Bill Wang." According to the complaint, Lane offered to further the conspiracy by laundering money through his company, STACK Royalties. The charges further allege that the defendants agreed to use a Polish shell corporation as a straw seller of the illicit oil, and that they planned two shipments of oil per month going forward, all for an expected profit of roughly $28 million-per-month. In addition, the charges allege that Fuchs and Wang agreed to apply for foreign passports in order to set up offshore accounts that would not be reported to U.S. authorities. Hovan, Wang, Thwaites, and Lane were indicted on charges of conspiracy, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and money laundering conspiracy based on their attempt to transact in sanctioned Iranian petroleum.