The deal that keeps on giving.
Two Iranian men have been indicted for allegedly hacking a Vermont defense technology firm, but one of their cohorts who admitted guilt won’t be punished because of a pardon President Barack Obama granted last year as part of the Iran-U.S. nuclear deal.
On Monday, the Justice Department announced the indictment of Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, and Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, for conspiring to hack South Burlington, Vermont-based Arrow Tech starting in 2007 as part of an effort to allow Iranian companies to use the company’s software in violation of U.S. export controls.
Justice’s press release revealing the charges against Rezakhah and Ajily referred obliquely to “a third actor who has already pleaded guilty in the District of Vermont for related conduct.”
However, the indictment identifies that man as Nima Golestaneh. Golestaneh was indicted in U.S, District Court in Vermont in 2013 on similar charges and extradited from Turkey after protracted negotiations with that country.
Golestaneh pled guilty in December 2015 to federal wire fraud and computer hacking charges and was awaiting sentencing when he received the pardon from Obama — one of a series of clemency grants and dropped prosecutions the administration agreed to as part of a broader effort to reach a nuclear agreement and obtain the release of several Americans being held prisoner in Iran.