Feds: CT man smuggled his company's cosmetics into Iran

Photo of Tara O'Neill
A file photo of the scales of justice.

A file photo of the scales of justice.

Flickr / Contributed Photo

RIDGEFIELD — A local man has been accused of participating in a years-long scheme to smuggle cosmetics in Iran while he served as president of a New York company, according to federal prosecutors.

Michael Rose, 50, of Ridgefield, was charged by an indictment Tuesday with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiring to launder money and conspiring to commit bank fraud. If convicted, the first and second offenses each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and the third carries a maximum 30-year term.

Rose was arrested Tuesday by the FBI and the Office of Export Enforcement.

The 13-page indictment, unsealed Tuesday, alleges that Rose was involved in a scheme that spanned years to violate government sanctions on Iran, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

“Today’s charges underscore that those who violate our sanctions on Iran will be investigated and prosecuted,” he said.

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said Rose “intentionally disguised” where his products were ultimately going, and allegedly lied about the prices of the products to limit his customs liability.

“It’s a federal crime to violate sanctions the United States put in place to protect our national interests from Iran and other designated nation states,” Sweeney said. “Mr. Rose may have thought the rules didn’t apply to him, but, if he did, today’s action demonstrates otherwise.”

Rose is the president of a Long Island-based cosmetics manufacturer and supplier. During his role as president, officials said Rose managed the company’s operations and international sales.

From 2015 through 2018, Rose engaged in a conspiracy to evade U.S. actions on Iran, prosecutors said. Federal prosecutors said Rose exported more than $350,000 worth of cosmetics from the United States to an importer in Iran.

Sometime in June 2015, Rose signed a contract with the importer that indicated the importer would be the cosmetics company’s exclusive distributor of its products in Iran, the indictment said. The importer then used front companies based outside Iran to make payments to the company and arrange for the shipment of goods to Iran through the United Arab Emirates, according to the indictment.

Authorities said Rose also filed false and misleading information on Department of Commerce Shipper’s Export Declaration forms in connection with the illegal shipments.