A federal indictment was unsealed by prosecutors on Monday, that charged Mohammed Reza Rezakhah and Mohammed Saeed Ajily in connection with an year long international conspiracy targeting Arrow Tech of Burlington and its Projectile Rocket Ordnance Design and Analysis System (PRODAS). This proprietary software is regulated by the U.S government because it is used in the development of missiles, bullets and other warheads. Arrow Tech produces Professional Ballistics Software Tools used by most US Government Labs and Commercial Ammo Manufactures.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Rezakhah and Mr. Ajily, along with a third co-conspirator, Nima GoJestaneh, operated a company, Dongle Labs, that sold illegal copies of PRODAS to Iranian customers. This is a violation of both export licensing requirements and U.S-imposed sanctions.
According to a superseding indictment filed last April in a Vermont federal court, but not unsealed until Monday of this week, Mr. Ajily “advertised what he referred to as his group of software hackers and crackers and their ability to circumvent Western sanctions against Iran by hacking the servers of software manufacturers and cracking software protections in order to obtain software for Iranian entities, including government entities and purported research centers and military production industries, all in contravention of Western sanctions against Iran.”
On Monday, the Justice Department said that an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr. Rezakhah, 39, and Mr. Ajily, 35. Both men currently appear on the FBI’s list of most wanted cybercriminals. If apprehended and extradited, they face an eight-count indictment including charges of conspiracy, hacking and fraud, as well as violating export regulations and economic sanctions.
Previously, in December 2015, Golestaneh was arrested and pled guilty to related counts of federal wire fraud and computer hacking, but was reportedly pardoned by former President Obama in January 2016 as part of a prisoner swap with Iran, that was allegedly arranged during talks between Washington and Tehran regarding the latter’s nuclear program. This was reported as a “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” in a trade-off for the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.