6 years in prison for woman who broke Iraq embargo
A judge sentenced a woman to six years in prison on Wednesday for breaking a US trade embargo with Iraq by selling telecommunications equipment before war in 2003.world Updated: Mar 26, 2009 12:01 IST
A judge sentenced a woman to six years in prison on Wednesday for breaking a US trade embargo with Iraq by selling telecommunications equipment before war in 2003.
Dawn Hanna, who netted $1.1 million, was motivated by greed and repeatedly ignored warnings from potential partners about doing business with Iraq, said US District Judge Marianne Battani. The prosecutor was extremely critical in court filings, saying Hanna lied to US and British authorities in 2003 and 2004 and committed perjury during the trial when she claimed the equipment was destined for Turkey.
The fifth and final shipment was intercepted by British officials in London in March 2003, less than three weeks before the war in Iraq.
The equipment had "encryption technology," which meant it could be used for civilian and military purposes, the government said. Hanna's punishment could have been significantly worse. She faced a minimum of nearly 16 years in prison under sentencing guidelines, but the guidelines are not mandatory.
"You should have at least paused before you got involved in this transaction. We can't have you or anybody else avoiding embargoes," Battani said.
The judge didn't explain why she settled on six years but said there was no evidence that Hanna was trying to undermine US national security in 2002 and 2003.
She was in charge of international sales at Technology Integration Group Services of Rochester. Hanna was convicted in October after an 11-day trial while her brother, Darrin, was acquitted.
"I know I made some terrible mistakes," said Hanna, 36, who called her actions "reckless."
Assistant US Attorney Barbara McQuade asked for a "very severe sentence" of nearly 16 years.
The 13-year embargo with Iraq was lifted in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.