4 firms, 5 individuals charged in Houston over exports to Iran

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Four companies and 5 individuals have been accused of illegally exporting to Iran high-tech electronics that could be used for military weapons (KTRK)

Four companies and five individuals have been accused of illegally exporting to Iran high-tech electronics that could be used for military weapons.

The 24-count federal indictment was unsealed Friday in Houston. The counts include conspiring to commit money laundering, money laundering and failure to file foreign bank and financial accountings.

Prosecutors say the companies and defendants are charged with violating U.S. law by sending certain microelectronics, power supplies and other items to Iran. The exports violate U.S. sanctions as part of anti-terrorism efforts.

"The prevention, investigation and prosecution of the illegal export of critical electronic system is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. "This indictment is evidence of our commitment to ensuring that our laws are enforced and our national security is protected."

The indictment names Houston-based Smart Power Systems Inc., plus companies operating in Taiwan, Turkey and Iran. Dozens of federal agents spent over nine hours inside the Smart Power Systems office building retrieving paperwork , boxes, bags and computers.

Some defendants are from Houston and Los Angeles, with arrests carried out in Texas and California.

A message left with Smart Power Systems for comment wasn't immediately returned Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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