Vahid Alaghband
Fined $17 Million for Iran Deal

Cornell Daily Sun: A subsidiary of Balli Group PLC, founded by Cornell alumnus Vahid Alaghband '74 M.Eng. '75, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to illegally exporting Boeing 747 airplanes to Iran. Balli Aviation Ltd. conspired to export the aircrafts from the U.S. to a private airline in Iran from 2005 to 2008 without an export license, according to government papers filed during the plea. The company violated a U.S. Commerce Department order barring them from transactions subject to export regulations.

The U.K.-based Balli Group PLC — worth over $50 million in equity and employing over 2,000 people worldwide — is a privately owned independent commodity trader specializing in steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals and agricultural products. Alaghband, the founder and chairman of Balli, holds degrees from Cornell in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. He has also been active in alumni events: last March, he spoke at an event at the British Museum, where he is a corporate sponsor.

According to Prof. John J. Barcelo III, law, violating U.S. export laws and sanctions has “serious penalties.”