Monday, August 22, 2016


The all-star team of criminal defense attorneys that represents the Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, accused of violations of US sanctions against Iran, has responded to the US Attorney's reply to their pending motions, to dismiss, and to suppress evidence obtained during his detention and interrogation, upon arrival into the United States, and before his arrest.

Readers who are not familiar with the legal arguments, and issues, previously presented in US v. Zarrab may want to access previous articles on this blog, which discussed the defense motions, and supporting memorandum, and the government's reply memorandum, in detail.

The basic thrust of the 41-page memorandum just filed by the defense:

(1) Zarrab cannot be prosecuted under the IEEPA, upon the facts of the case, where he is a foreign national, conducting strictly foreign transactions, with only foreign (non-US) entities.
(2) The Rule of Lenity* is applicable, which bars prosecution under the statute & regulation, on these specific facts.
(3) The Bank Fraud count does not fit the allegations of the indictment.
(4) The charges of money laundering, and conspiracy fail, because they depend upon defective sanctions and bank fraud counts.
(5) The motion to suppress should be granted. It is not normal for inbound travelers, at the border, to be compelled to deliver passwords for their electronic devices, and to disclose personal financial information.

On to the arguments:
(A) There is not jurisdiction, under the IEEPA, to prosecute Zarrab.
(B) Zarrab is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(C) The Indictment failed to allege that Zarrab conspired to export any service from the US, or to cause any such export.
(D) The Rule of Lenity, an Due Process, require dismissal.
(E)  The Indictment fails to allege Conspiracy to Commit Bank fraud.
(F) The Indictment fails to allege a scheme to harm a US bank, or to obtain money under bank custody.
(G) The Indictment fails to allege misrepresentations to a bank.
(H) The Government misapplies the Bank Fraud statute extraterritorially.
(I)   The money laundering, and IEEPA charges impermissibly merge.
(J)   The Indictment does not describe a Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.
(K)  The search of a traveler's IPhone is not routine; all phone data should be suppressed.
(L)  The Government's continue questioning of Zarrab, after he requested counsel, cannot be justified as arrest processing.

The defense is asking for a dismissal of the Indictment. In the event its motion is denied, it is asking for an evidentiary hearing on the motion to suppress

A hearing, during which oral argument will be heard on these motions, is scheduled for September 6, 2016.
* The Rule of Lenity: In construing an ambiguous criminal statute, a court should resolve the ambiguity in favor of the defendant. A court may also look at the common usage of a word, case law, dictionaries, parallel reasoning, and punctuation  

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