Jury convicts Clark VP

News Story
- 8 Dec 2005 ( #238 ) - WASHINGTON, DC, United States
2 min read
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
A federal court jury has convicted a Clark Material Handling Co executive of conspiracy and five counts of violating the US trade embargo with Iran and acquitted another of the same charges.

The jury in Washington delivered its verdict on December 7.

Robert E Quinn, who was convicted, is a vice president with Clark Material Handling Co, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Michael Holland, a Clark parts sales representative, was acquitted.

"Bob Quinn will appeal," said Larry Mackey, a defence attorney who represented Quinn in the trial.

Laura Ingersoll, assistant US attorney with the national security section of the office for the District of Columbia, said Quinn's sentencing was scheduled for February 23. US District Court Judge John D Bates could sentence Quinn to 10 years' jail and fine him up to USD250,000 on each count.

Prosecutors said Clark Material Handling exported forklift parts worth USD32,000 to Iran. The parts were shipped to Sharp Line Trading Co, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, then forwarded to Sepahan Lifter Co, of Esfahan, Iran, a forklift truck manufacturing and distribution firm.

In December 2004, federal agents searched Clark headquarters in Lexington and found emails and other records that were among documents used in making the prosecution's case (Forkliftaction.com News #208).

In May, a federal grand jury indicted Quinn, Holland and two Sepahan Lifter employees, president Mohammad A Sharbaf and Gharzal Zarmani Sharbaf. Neither can be extradited from Iran for trial.

The government charged Quinn and Holland with conspiracy and violating the US embargo to export, re-export, sell or supply goods, technology or services to Iran. The November 1979 Iranian seizure of the US embassy in Tehran led to imposition of the embargo.

Jury selection occurred on November 21, and the trial started on November 28.
Sharp Line owner Khalid Mahmood, who acted as the conduit for the Clark shipments, testified for the prosecution at the trial. Separately, Mahmood awaits sentencing for an attempt to ship radiators to Iran from a US company in Indiana.

Clark president & CEO Dennis J Lawrence said in a statement to North American dealer principals yesterday that Clark had cooperated fully with the prosecution and would move forward.

"While our community and our Clark family were saddened by the conviction of Robert Quinn, we are encouraged that the jury acquitted Mike Holland.

"Clark has cooperated fully and successfully with the United States in this prosecution. Our customers/dealers and our entire Clark family can expect that we will continue to provide the highest quality service and the market's best products as Clark moves forward."
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